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Mario Cuomo on Crime

Former Democratic Governor of New York

 


Lost mayor's race due to opposing death penalty

A sense of chaos can have a profound effect on politics and what voters expect from their political leaders. America has always stressed and argued over the tensions between liberty and order, freedom and certainty. When disorder prevails, the premium becomes high for ideas that can, or seem to, promise a return to stability and safety. Against this backdrop, crime and punishment became the must-address topic for the candidates. Even though mayors have no say in capital punishment cases or law, expanding the method of execution became a hot-button topic in the race. My father believed that state-sanctioned killing appealed to our worst impulses. He said the city needed more cops, experienced judges, and an overhaul of the criminal justice system. He was right as a matter of policy, but wrong as a matter of politics.
Source: All Things Possible, by Andrew M. Cuomo, p. 36 , Oct 14, 2014

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Page last updated: Dec 29, 2015