[nygreen] Gov. Paterson ends Death Row in NY! (fwd)
- Here's some great news.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 19:26:21 -0400
From: Mitchel Cohen <mitchelcohen@...>
Subject: [nygreen] Gov. Paterson ends Death Row in NY!
From: New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty <atalanta26pt2@...>
Colleen Eren, Organizing Director
NY Governor Paterson took action today to further
make the death penalty a thing of the past in New
Yorkas reported in the NY Post, he has "Pullled
the Switch on the Death Cell," the execution
chamber at the GreenHaven Correctional facility.
This is great news, and one that brings us even
closer to our ideal of a state without capital punishment.
Please write, call, or e-mail Paterson to thank him!
David A. Paterson
Albany, NY 12224
Of course, writing a letter to the editor of the
Post supporting the decision, even if only a few
sentences, helps us get out our message all the
more strongly. You can fill out a letter at the Post's opinion site:
Thank you for all you do! Colleen and the NYADP Team
GOV PULLS SWITCH ON DEATH CELL
By BRENDAN SCOTT,
July 24, 2008 ALBANY - The Paterson
administration has put to death one of capital
punishment's last vestiges - the execution chamber known as the "death house."
The Department of Correctional Services has
quietly struck from the books a 40-year-old rule
that designated the upstate Green Haven
Correctional Facility the state's "Capital Punishment Unit."
The procedural move by Gov. Paterson, a Democrat
who opposes capital punishment, completes the
long, slow demise of the 1995 statute that
reinstated the death penalty after a 23-year hiatus.
Although seven defendants were sentenced to death
after then-Gov. George Pataki, a Republican,
signed the law, the death house has never hosted
an execution. The two-cell unit sits vacant in an
isolated wing of the Dutchess County prison.
Equipment for lethal injection has been removed.
The defunct death house is visited once a week for cleaning.
The Court of Appeals ruled the Pataki statute
unconstitutional last year. Correction spokesman
Erik Kriss said the death-house regulation was
deemed unnecessary as part of an annual review of agency protocols.
"What the court said is, 'If you want executions
in this state, the Legislature is going to have
to enact a new statute or fix the statute,' " Kriss said.
"If it does, we will adopt any new reg, rule or directive as needed."
Death-penalty supporters blasted the unilateral
move by Paterson, likening it to his recent
directive ordering New York to recognize gay marriages performed out of state.
"It's another decision by fiat," said Sen. Martin
Golden (R-Brooklyn), who has sponsored a bill to
make cop killers eligible for lethal injection.
"It should be a decision by the Legislature. This
governor wasn't elected. He's got to let the legislators legislate."
The cop-killer legislation is among several
attempts by the Republican-run Senate to restore
the death penalty, but the bills have failed to
move in the Democrat-controlled Assembly.
Approval has seemed less likely since Paterson
succeeded disgraced Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who was pro-death penalty, in March.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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