Prosecutors say they cannot seek an execution for the slaying of two Brooklyn police detectives killed last week because no capital punishment law is currently in place in the state of New York.
A June ruling by New York’s Supreme Court said the state’s death penalty law was flawed. But no new law has been passed to replace it, creating an effective moratorium on capital punishment.
“There is no viable death penalty in New York right now,” said the Brooklyn district attorney Charles J. Hynes, through a spokesperson.
Prosecutors told Judge William L. McGuire Jr. of Criminal Court that they would not seek the death penalty for Marlon Legere, 28, but would instead file first-degree murder charges against him for the deaths of the two detectives. The judge agreed execution was not a viable option.
Some police officers are upset the death penalty is not an option in this case. “If anything was a capital case, this was,” says Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.