Cuomo will advance legislation to remove death penalty from state law
Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement: “Today, in solidarity with Pope Francis and in honor of my father, I will be advancing legislation to remove the death penalty – and its ugly stain in our history – from State law once and for all.
“By declaring the death penalty inadmissible in all cases and working to end the practice globally, Pope Francis is ushering in a more righteous world for us all. The death penalty is morally indefensible and has no place in the 21st century.
“Pope Francis’s decision is a validation of my father’s principled stand against the death penalty in the face of overwhelming support for capital punishment. My father staked his political career on his opposition to the death penalty and never backed down, saying it ‘demeans those who strive to preserve human life and dignity.’
“As Governor, Mario Cuomo vetoed legislation reinstating the death penalty 12 times in 12 years. He did this because he believed the death penalty was wrong and he had the courage to stand firm in his beliefs – so much so that he was willing to lose his office rather than capitulate. Pop was right then, and he is right now.
“The death penalty was reinstated in New York under the Pataki administration but halted by the courts in 2004. In his final years, my father continued to advocate for eliminating the law from the books, calling it a ‘stain on our conscience.’ Today, in solidarity with Pope Francis and in honor of my father, I will be advancing legislation to remove the death penalty – and its ugly stain in our history – from State law once and for all.”