2011-02-24 / Front Page

Ball: Death to Cop Killers

Staff Reports

On Monday, State Senator Greg Ball (40th district), with senate colleague Martin Golden of Brooklyn, will introduce a bill to allow New York State to impose the death penalty on cop killers and terrorists. The bill’s introduction comes in the wake of the murder of Poughkeepsie Police Officer John Falcone last Friday.

Golden, who was forced to retire from the NYPD after suffering a serious injury while making a narcotics arrest in 1983, has a “tough on crime” history since joining the senate in 2002. Ball, a former assemblyman finishing up just his second month in the senate, reached out to his Republican leadership and has received confirmation that a vote on the proposal will occur soon.

Ball told the Courier that he expects the bill to become law even though there are legislators strongly opposed to the death penalty in the Democrat controlled assembly. “If we can get this bill passed in the senate by a good margin, I think it puts even the most liberal of assembly members in a tough position because it is specifically for cop killers and terrorists,” Ball said. “Most people with any amount of common sense can’t disagree with that.”

According to a Ball press release, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in 2004 that the procedure for imposing the death penalty in New York was flawed and required that the prescribed jury instruction be revised before the death penalty could be issued.

“When these proud members of law enforcement leave their loving homes and enter a community to protect all of us, those killers who would ever consider doing harm to these giving souls should know, if for no other reason than as a solid deterrent, that killing a police officer comes with the full weight of the death penalty,” Ball said. “And that the entire weight and power of the State of New York will bear upon them. In order to protect those in uniform, pay tribute to their families, and keep our communities safe, these brave men and women deserve nothing less.”

Ball said that it would be helpful if Assemblywoman Sandy Galef would introduce the bill in the Assembly. However, Galef said that she won’t be introducing the bill, telling the Courier that the 1995 introduction of life-without-parole sentencing in New York State led her to begin opposing the death penalty in all cases.

In this case, no New York jury will be penalizing Lee Welch, Officer Falcone’s killer. Welch killed himself Friday.

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