ALBANY, NY – Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and Assembly Republican Leader Will A. Barclay today introduced legislation that would bring capital punishment back to New York State in the wake of this weekend’s tragic mass shooting in Buffalo. The bill would reinstate capital punishment in cases of mass murder, fatal hate crimes, and acts of terrorism, among other acts of extreme violence.
“Some crimes are truly unforgivable. This past weekend in Buffalo, a crime of unforgivable magnitude occurred when a hate-filled terrorist took the lives of ten innocent people in cold blood. We are heartbroken. We are also outraged. Now it is clear that New York must send a message to those who would deliberately target our neighbors based on the color of their skin. We do not tolerate racism. We do not tolerate terrorism. We do not tolerate acts of extreme violence on innocent civilians. We must bring capital punishment back to our state today, and deliver the only justice that is appropriate in this case and to ensure acts such as these never happen again,” said Senate Republican Leader Ortt.
“There are instances when a crime is so egregious and the damage so devastating the punishment must be commensurate to the act. The evil that we saw in Buffalo was a senseless tragedy and leaves a scar on our society. For this reason, I am calling for the Legislature to reinstate the death penalty in New York in certain cases, like the one we witnessed this weekend. New Yorkers are living in fear, and it is growing worse by the day. Events like the one that took place in Buffalo reinforce the need to act swiftly and comprehensively. I urge my colleagues in the Legislature and Gov. Kathy Hochul to take the steps needed to protect those in their charge. The path we are on now is unsustainable and dangerous. We must levy the full measure of the tools of justice we have available,” said Assembly Republican Leader Barclay.
The bill, sponsored by Republican leaders in both houses of the New York State Legislature, would reinstate capital punishment in cases of:
Murders motivated by hate or racism;
Murders related to terrorism; and
Murders of law enforcement and first responders.