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NCJ Number: 135758 Find in a Library
Title: New York's Proposed Death Penalty Legislation: Constitutional and Policy Perspectives
Journal: Albany Law Review  Volume:54  Issue:3/4  Dated:(1990)  Pages:515-616
Author(s): J R Acker
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 102
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After a review of the history of capital punishment legislation in New York State, this article explains and assesses recent capital-punishment bills that have been vetoed by Governor Cuomo.
Abstract: In 1984 the last vestige of New York State's death penalty legislation was declared unconstitutional. Since then, repeated legislative efforts to enact a constitutional capital punishment law for the State have been vetoed by Governors Carey and Cuomo respectively. This article presents the history of the 1991 death-penalty bill and describes its major provisions. It then considers the substance and the administrative or procedural aspects of the proposed legislation; the likely validity of the bill's provisions are assessed under both the Federal and State constitutions. The analysis of the legislature's power to enact the proposed statute is supplemented with observations on the social benefits and costs that would likely be associated with the implementation of capital punishment legislation in New York State. The article concludes that empirical evidence shows the anticipated benefits of the death penalty to be illusory; there are also associated social costs that include erroneous, arbitrary, and discriminatory applications of the death penalty. The symbolic, expressive value of the death penalty as a statement against unlawful violence cannot be justified, given the many inequities spawned by its practical administration. Appended 1991 bill provisions and 495 footnotes
Main Term(s): Capital punishment
Index Term(s): Legislation; New York
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