On Death Penalty, Bruno and Spitzer Versus Assembly

Following the shooting death of a state trooper upstate yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno is calling on — challenging, even — Governor Eliot Spitzer to join him in a pushing for the death penalty.

“Governor Spitzer says he supports the death penalty," he said in a public statement. "If that is true, he must come back to Albany immediately and do everything he can to get the Assembly to act before another officer is gunned down.”
Spitzer did indeed cancel an appearance at a NARAL luncheon in Manhattan earlier today to fly back to Albany.

But Spitzer, who supports the death penalty “in appropriate circumstances,” is not likely to find much support among his Democratic colleagues up there.

Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr., an opponent of the death penalty,  said that it was no accident that the  Assembly hasn't taken action to reinstate the death penalty, which was ruled unconstitutional in New York a few years ago because of the language of the instructions judges gave to juries.

“We could easily remedied it by passing a new bill that would change the provision of the law that is unconstitutional,” Diaz said, “but we decided to leave it alone.”