Empire State Injustice: Based Upon a Decade of New Information: A Preliminary Evaluation of How New York's Death Penalty System Fails to Meet Standards for Accuracy and Fairness
36 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2011
Date Written: 2006
"Empire State Injustice" evaluates some areas where New York law fails to meet the minimum recommendations for criminal justice reform advocated in capital punishment studies done in Illinois and Massachusetts. This Article shows the necessity of a thorough analysis of a state's criminal procedure laws to protect the innocent, provide fairness, and improve the quality of justice. For every state, and especially for states that retain the death penalty, legislatures must consider serious reform of their criminal justice systems.
This Article discusses rules regarding informant testimony, rules regarding witness testimony and scientific corroboration, the importance of videotaped interrogations, rules regarding lineup procedures, the value of independent review of scientific evidence, the need for a narrower list of death penalty eligibility factors, the importance of different juries for each stage of a bifurcated capital trial, the need for a heightened burden of proof, the need for judicial discretion to overturn death sentences, and the need for an ongoing capital punishment review commission.
"Empire State Injustice" is a published version of a report by the Committee on Capital Punishment of the New York City Bar Association. The report was submitted to members of the New York Assembly Standing Committees on Codes, Judiciary, and Corrections in January 2005 as the Committee was deciding whether or not to pass a new death penalty law.
Keywords: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty, Criminal Procedure, Informants, Confessions, Videotape, Lineup Procedures, Scientific Evidence, Aggravating Factors, Bifurcated Trials, Burden of Proof, Judicial Discretion, Capital Punishment Review Commission, Legislatures
JEL Classification: K14, K40, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation