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Nation IN BRIEF : NEW YORK

Suicide Ends Dispute Over Death Penalty

September 06, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A murder defendant at the center of a dispute between Gov. George Pataki and a Bronx prosecutor over the death penalty hanged himself in his jail cell while awaiting trial. Angel Diaz, 27, was charged with shooting a police officer during a chase March 14 and could have been one of the first people to face New York's death penalty since it was restored in 1995. Pataki, who was elected in 1994 on a promise to reinstate the death penalty, removed Dist. Atty. Robert Johnson from the Diaz case because he believed Johnson would not seek execution by injection. Johnson opposes the death penalty.

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