Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Death penalty talk on Thursday

Stewart F. Hancock, the eminent retired judge of the New York Court of Appeals and a long-time foe of the state's death penalty law, will speak about capital punishment at the annual membership meeting of the Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union. The meeting will be held in the Dean Alexander Moot Courtroom at the Albany Law School on Thursday, May 3. The membership meeting begins at 5:45 p.m. Judge Hancock is slated to speak at 6:30. The event is open to the public.

In testimony before the state legislature, Hancock has urged his former colleagues on the state's highest court to void New York's death penalty as cruel and unusual punishment and as a violation of equal protection because it has been applied arbitrarily to members of minority groups.

He has argued that the state Constitution should be invoked to strike the death penalty and has filed amicus briefs in cases that have raised Constitutional challenges to the state's death penalty statute.

Hancock, counsel to the Syracuse law firm, Hancock & Estabrook (founded by his grandfather) , served as a judge for 23 years, eight of them as associate judge on the Court of Appeals. He currently specializes in appellate work and in national and international commercial arbitration.

Following Hancock's presentation, a reception will be held at 7:30 p.m.