According to prominent New York lawmakers, there is little chance that legislators will pass a bill this year to fix the state’s unconstitutional death penalty. Many experts believe that the state’s statute, which N.Y.’s highest court struck down earlier this year, may never be re-enacted. Republican Senator Dale M. Volker noted that when the Court of Appeals struck down the law, New York heard “the death knell of the death penalty, for the time being.” Sheldon Silver, the Democratic Speaker of the Assembly and a death penalty proponent, noted that many people “are willing to accept life without parole, which was not an available remedy before 10 years ago.” Silver stated, “Many people have questions. I don’t think it’s something that should be on a fast track.” In the coming weeks, New York’s Assembly will hold public hearings regarding the state’s death penalty laws. (New York Times, November 18, 2004). The hearings are scheduled to take place in New York City on December 15 and in Albany on January 25. See DPIC’s Summary of People v. Stephen LaValle (overturning N.Y.’s death penalty).