George Bundy Smith

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George Bundy Smith (April 7, 1937 – August 5, 2017) was a lawyer and judge in New York State. While he was a law student at Yale University, he was part of the Freedom Ride from Atlanta, Georgia to Montgomery, Alabama.[1][2]

Smith was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was raised in Washington, D.C.. He studied at Phillips Academy and at Yale University.

Smith was a judge of the New York City Civil Court from 1975 to 1979 and a justice of the New York State Supreme Court from 1980 to 1986. In 1986, Governor Mario Cuomo appointed Smith to the Appellate Division, First Department, where he served from 1986 to 1992. Smith's best-known opinion for the Court was People v. LaValle, a 4-to-3 decision holding that New York's death penalty statute was unconstitutional due to the structure of its sentencing procedures.[3]

In 2006, Governor George Pataki was urged to reappoint Smith to another term on the Court of Appeals, although Smith would have served only another 16 months on the Court before mandatory retirement at age 70.[4]

Smith died on August 5, 2017 in Harlem, New York at the age of 80.[1]

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