This Note analyzes the relevant Supreme Court death penalty decisions from 1972 to 1985 in order to compare New York's mandatory death statute for life-term prisoners who murder with other state death penalty statutes that have been reviewed by the Supreme Court. After considering both the legal and nonlegal arguments, this Note concludes that there can not and should not be a mandatory death penalty for life-term prisoners who murder in New York. This Note recommends that the New York legislature draft a discretionary death penalty statute for life-term prisoners who murder. A discretionary death penalty statute, which provides for consideration of both mitigating and aggravating factors, is a more viable method of imposing a death sentence on a convicted felon.
DEATH AFTER LIFE: THE FUTURE OF NEW YORK'S MANDATORY DEATH PENALTY FOR MURDERS COMMITTED BY LIFE-TERM PRISONERS,
13 Fordham Urb. L.J. 597
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol13/iss3/5