Provides that the intentional murder of a child under the age of twelve shall be a first degree murder offense.
BILL NUMBER:S2238A REVISED MEMO 12/12/13
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to first degree murder of a child under the age of twelve
The purpose of this bill is to provide a more appropriate punishment for those persons who act with the intent to take a life and the victim is under the age of 12.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of this bill amends Penal Law section 125.27(1)(a) by adding a new subparagraph (xiv) that adds children under the age of 12 to the list of victims for which the offense of first degree murder may be charged when the appropriate mens rea and age requirements are present.
Section two of this bill provides that this law shall take effect on the first of November succeeding the date on which it shall become law.
Under current law, the murder of a child is not first degree murder unless it is accompanied by one or more of the aggravating factors listed in Penal Law Section 125.27(1)(a).
In recognition of their special status in society, current law treats the intentional killing of certain groups-police officers, judges, among others-as first degree murder. As a result, those who consider murdering a member of one of these groups understand that they will receive the most severe punishment. One other group belongs on this list-children. Numerous instances in the recent past have demonstrated the need for this reform.
On November 23rd, 2013, Conrado Juarez was indicted in the decades-old murder of "Baby Hope," who has now been identified as Anjelica Castillo. Juarez confessed to sexually abusing the child and killing her by smothering her with a pillow. He wrapped her body in plastic, placed her remains in a cooler and left the cooler near the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan. At the time of her death, Anjelica Castillo was four years old.
In 2012, Ali-Mohamed Mohamud was convicted of second-degree murder for beating to death his 10-year-old stepson, Abdifatah Mohamud. Ali-Mohamed Mohamud tied his step-son to a chair, placed a sock in his mouth, secured the sock with duct tape, bound his hands with an electrical cord and then struck the child with a rolling pin 70 times. As a result of this beating, Abdifatah Mohamud's head was separated from his spinal cord and his brain was exposed through the the crushed back of his head.
Had the law reflected the changes made by this bill, both Mr. Juarez and Mr. Mohamud would have been subject to charges of first degree murder, rather than second degree. Cases such as these cry out for the need for increased penalties for those who murder children. This bill answers those calls.
2013: S.2238 - Referred to Codes 2011-2: S.1990 - Referred to Codes 2010: S.6695 - Referred to Codes
This act shall take effect on the first of November after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2238--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 15, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to first degree murder of a child under the age of twelve THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subparagraph (xiii) of paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 125.27 of the penal law, as added by chapter 300 of the laws of 2001, is amended and a new subparagraph (xiv) is added to read as follows: (xiii) the victim was killed in furtherance of an act of terrorism, as defined in paragraph (b) of subdivision one of section 490.05 of this chapter;
[and]OR (XIV) THE VICTIM WAS A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF TWELVE; AND S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03164-02-3