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Ball, Wagner Face Off: Death Penalty for Cop Killers

One is against execution in all scenarios and the other says it's a must in cases where an officer is murdered.

Candidates with ties to Putnam County discussed a range of issues important to constituents at a recent debate.

The event—held at the Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association in Southeast, and co-hosted by the League of Women Voters and the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce—featured hopefuls running for the Putnam County Legislature, as well as New York State Assembly and New York State Legislature. Moderator Bruce Apar of Chase Media Group read questions that audience members submitted. Each candidate had 90 seconds to respond.

Here are snippets (in the order they answered) of responses from 40th State Senate District candidates Greg Ball, the Republican incumbent, and Justin Wagner, the Democratic pick:

(Question two) Are you in favor of passing a death penalty law for all cop-killers to better protect all law enforcement officers? 

Wagner Ball
  • I am against the death penalty. I am for stopping violence. I think there's actually another way we could prevent gun violence and that's by cracking down on illegal weapons. 
  • I generally think that as an economic matter the state spends more money to execute someone than to imprison them for life, but that's not the issue here. 
  • Again, I would ask Senator Ball to join me to ban the sale of handguns to 12 a year. I don't know any sportsman or anyone who needs more than 12 handguns a year. I think it's a common sense proposal and if we're going to work across the aisles I think this is something we could actually agree on.
  • When we talk about extremists, if you don't support the death penalty for cop-killers, that's extreme ... [These] men and women ... need to know they have the full weight of New York State government behind them, to protect them. 
  • We have had men and women shot and killed, many responding to domestic violence situations. To think that you would not use your power as a legislator—this isn't just the death penalty. We're talking about the death penalty for cop-killers and terrorists. To think that you wouldn't use your full weight as a legislator to protect those that are fighting. My bill very specifically is for cop-killers and terrorists. We have the legislation. I'd like to know where you stand on terrorists Justin, because I know that your firm actually represents terrorists, so maybe you can answer that one as well.


Ashley Tarr October 05, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Ball also said this before he address the cop-killer question: "About six months ago that somebody was going to primary me because I work with the governor too much. To talk about a conservative voting record, you're right, I have a very high record when it comes to voting to repeal taxes, like the MTA payroll tax; create jobs, get rid of the regulations that are killing small business owners."

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