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Caucus Trayvon Martin Open Letter _2_

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Caucus Trayvon Martin Open Letter _2_ Powered By Docstoc
					                                  NEW YORK STATE BLACK, PUERTO RICAN, HISPANIC AND ASIAN LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS
                                                                                            ROOM 442-A, LEGISLATIVE OFFICE BUILDING
                                                                                            ALBANY, NY 12248
EXECUTIVE OFFICERS                                                                          (518) 455-5347 • FAX: (518) 455-4535
Assemblyman Karim Camara
Chairman
Assemblyman William Scarborough
First Vice-Chair
Assemblyman Eric Stevenson         March 29th, 2012
Second Vice-Chair
Assemblywoman Vivian E. Cook
Secretary
Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson
                                   Senator George D. Maziarz
Treasurer
Senator William Perkins
                                   708 Legislative Office Building
Parliamentarian
Assemblyman Francisco P. Moya
                                   Albany, NY 12247
Chaplain

MEMBERS                            AN OPEN LETTER IN LIGHT OF THE LOSS OF TRAYVON MARTIN:
Senator
Eric L. Adams
Assemblywoman
Carmen E. Arroyo                   Dear Senator Maziarz,
Assemblyman
Jeffrion L. Aubry
Assemblywoman
Inez D. Barron
                                   We, the undersigned members of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative
Assemblyman
William F. Boyland, Jr.
                                   Caucus, are writing with respect to a bill you have sponsored in the Senate (S.281). First
Assemblyman
Nelson L. Castro
                                   introduced (S.7173) in 2007, and reintroduced (S.3211) in 2009, this bill amends the penal law to
Assemblywoman
Barbara M. Clark
                                   eliminate the requirement that a person attempt to retreat when it is perceived that their life is in
Assemblyman
Marcos Crespo
                                   danger, and to instead allow the use of deadly force as soon as said threat is assumed.
Senator
Martin M. Dilan
Assemblyman                        Currently, over half of the states have some form of “Castle Doctrine” or “Stand Your Ground”
Herman D. Farrell, Jr.
Assemblyman                        legislation, which eliminates the duty to retreat if one’s home property, premise, or vehicle is
David F. Gantt
Assemblywoman                      threatened. The law that you have introduced goes beyond the home, stating that one has the
Vanessa Gibson
Assemblyman                        right to use deadly force no matter the location. Furthermore, many of the states that have
Carl Heastie
Assemblywoman
                                   enacted these statues protect the defendant not only from criminal charges, but also civil
Earlene Hooper
Senator
                                   litigation. Your bill does not clarify whether or not a civil suit may be brought, leading to a
Shirley L. Huntley
Assemblyman
                                   nebulous environment of potential lawsuits that would have to be navigated by the courts, as well
Hakeem Jeffries
Assemblyman
                                   as the potential denial of due process to the parties harmed.
Guillermo Linares
Assemblywoman
Grace Meng                         A person’s perception of risk is undeniably shaped by personal experience, and a recent study
Senator
Velmanette Montgomery              has shown that if a person is carrying a weapon, they are more likely to assume that another party
Assemblyman
Felix Ortiz                        is also armed. As the recent tragedy in Florida illustrates, the open ended possibility that comes
Senator
Kevin S. Parker                    with “stand your ground” legislation could lead the escalation of a dispute with another party
Assemblywoman
Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes          in public to the needless use of deadly force.
Senator
Jose R. Peralta
Assemblyman
N. Nick Perry
                                   According to a recent article in the New York Times, claims of justifiable homicide have tripled
Assemblyman
J. Gary Pretlow
                                   since the enactment of the Florida law. Once one party is killed in a confrontation, it is
Assemblyman
Phil Ramos
                                   impossible to discern all of the facts and nuance that occurred during the situation. This creates a
Senator
Gustavo Rivera
                                   troubling precedent akin to “shoot first, ask questions later”. In this recent case, it took the death
Assemblyman                        of a young man to bring attention to the present dangers of such legislation.
Jose Rivera
Assemblywoman
Naomi Rivera
Assemblyman                        This bill emboldens individuals to determine what is under their auspices of ownership.
Peter M. Rivera
Assemblyman                        Therefore, we respectfully ask you recognize the clear and present danger to life and the integrity
Samuel D. Roberts
Assemblywoman                      of the legal process that your legislation poses if enacted, and to withdraw it promptly.
Annette Robinson
Assemblyman
Robert J. Rodriguez
Senator
                                   Sincerely,
John L. Sampson
Senator
Malcolm A. Smith                   Members of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus
Senator
Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Assemblywoman
Michele R. Titus
Assemblyman
Keith L.T. Wright

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Benita L. Lewis

				
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