Senator Greg Ball (R, C—Patterson) held a press conference today to discuss legislation he is introducing, calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty in cases involving the intentional murder of a police officer, peace officer or an employee of the Department of Correctional Services.
The Senator was joined by local law enforcement leaders and officers, as he explained the need for the death penalty, “the death penalty is a deterrent that will act as protection for those men and women who put their lives at risk everyday to protect the rest us.”
Christopher Leo, Legislative Director of the New York State Correction Officers & Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) explains the importance of the death penalty as a deterrent “When someone is sentenced to life in prison with no possibility for parole, they have nothing to lose. Senator Ball’s legislation encompasses and protects the brave men and women who work in New York s prisons. NYSCOPBA thanks Senator Ball for recognizing the dangerous job our members perform by putting their lives on the line every hour of every day. Some say the death penalty is not a deterrent, but then again, those same people have never worked in a prison.”
Since a 2004 New York Court of Appeals ruling established that the procedure for imposing the death penalty was flawed, prosecutors have been unable to seek the death penalty when a law enforcement officer is murdered while performing his duties. Since the ruling, there have been 8 police officers in New York intentionally murdered. 7 of which occurred after this legislation was enacted calling only for a sentence of life without parole for those who kill law enforcement officers. “Law enforcement officers need to know that the criminals that perpetuate violence against them, will be dealt with,” remarked Richard Wells of the Police Conference of New York.
Robert Buckley of the Westchester County Corrections Superior Officers Association supports Ball’s bill, “When a violent crime is committed against an officer of the law, criminals are doing more than just murdering a man or a women who also happens to be law enforcement officer. Respect for them and the job they do must be upheld with strict laws and strong punishment for those who would threaten that safety and security.”
The Senator has also formed a Law Enforcement Advisory Council which will be meeting with Ball to discuss the needs of, and important issues affecting, the law enforcement community. Senator Ball explained,” The input and advice from this and other advisory councils will guide me in making prudent decisions on awarding New York State grants, and sponsoring important Senate legislation during my term in office.”
Senator Ball placed a petition on his Senate website(www.nysenate.gov/senator/greg-ball), where the public can go and pledge their support for the Cop Killer bill. “ I urge people to go to my website and complete the petition, we need to let everyone in Albany know we take the safety of our law enforcement personnel seriously, and we want to see those commit acts against them punished to the full extent of the law.” Robert C. Caralyus of the Affiliated Police Association of Westchester County Inc, mirrored Ball’s sentiments, “When a police officer is killed in the line of duty, he does not die for his paycheck. A police officer dies in his attempt to preserve and protect the public he serves.”