Relates to awards for victims of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.
Ayes (11): Nozzolio, DeFrancisco, Gallivan, Griffo, Little, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Hassell-Thompson, Kennedy
Ayes W/R (2): Kruger, Peralta
Nays (1): Montgomery
Ayes (30): DeFrancisco, Johnson, Alesi, Bonacic, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Golden, Griffo, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Little, Marcellino, Nozzolio, Robach, Saland, Seward, Young, Krueger, Breslin, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Gianaris, Oppenheimer, Perkins, Rivera, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins
Ayes W/R (4): Hannon, Kruger, Montgomery, Peralta
Nays (1): Parker
PURPOSE OF BILL:
This bill would add the recently created crime of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation (Penal Law § 121.11) to Executive Law § 631(12), to allow the Office of Victim Services (0VS) to make awards to victims of this crime, even if the victim did not sustain a physical injury.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill would amend Executive Law § 631(12) to include the class A misdemeanor offense of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation, as defined in Penal Law § 121.11, to the list of offenses for which the OVS may make awards to victims when the victim does not suffer physical injury.
Section 2 of the bill would make this provision effective 90 days after enactment.
Chapter 405 of the Laws of 2010 added a new Article 121 to the Penal Law related to strangulation and related offenses. New Penal Law § 121.11 creates the class A misdemeanor crime of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation, which is committed when a person, with intent to impede the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person: (a) applies pressure on the throat or neck of such person; or (b) blocks the nose or mouth of such person.
Executive Law § 631(12) ensures victims of certain harassment and menacing charges (more commonly referred to as "stalking") who have not suffered a physical injury, are eligible to receive certain awards from the OVS.
This is a new bill.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:
Chapter 405 of the Laws of 2010 added a new Article 121 to the Penal Law related to strangulation and related offenses. Included in Article 121 is the class A misdemeanor crime of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation, as defined in Penal Law § 121.11. The other two offenses included in Article 121 are Strangulation in the Second Degree, as defined in Penal Law § 121.12, and Strangulation in the First Degree, as defined in Penal Law § 121.13, both of which are felony offenses and both of which specifically include as elements
the causing of physical injury and serious physical injury, respectively. The misdemeanor charge does not include any requirement of physical injury. The justification for the creation of these new criminal charges was that strangulation "has been identified in recent years as one of the most lethal forms of domestic abuse. When perpetrators use strangulation to silence their victims, this is a form of power and control" and victims of such acts suffer devastating psychological trauma.
Under Article 22 of the Executive Law, in order to receive an award from the OVS, one must suffer a physical injury or be a victim of either a certain group (such as: elderly, minors or the disabled) or certain crimes (such as: specific charges of unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, harassment and menacing). One exception to this general rule is contained in Executive Law § 631 (12), which was added by Chapter 443 of the Laws of 1998, to ensure that victims of certain harassment and menacing charges, more commonly referred to as "stalking," were eligible to receive certain awards under Article 22 of the Executive Law. The justification for making stalking victims eligible for such awards was similar to the reasons for creating the new strangulation crimes: "The primary goals of stalking are power and control. Persistent threats of physical injury are means by which the stalker exerts control over one's victim (sic)."
The addition of the new crime of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation to the other crimes enumerated in Executive Law 631 (12) is a logical and natural expansion of the current provision. This measure would ensure that victims of this new crime, many of whom may be victims of domestic abuse generally, may receive awards from the OVS. These awards could be made for: loss or earnings or support, the unreimbursed cost of repair or replacement of essential personal property, the unreimbursed cost for security devices, and expenses related to certain court transportation, counseling, relocation and occupational or job training.
The changes proposed by this measure are not expected to have a material impact on either the compensation or operational expenses of the OVS. Victim compensation expenses are funded through a combination of State and federal funding. pursuant to the federal grant (Victims of Crime Act or VOCA) received by the State for such compensation, any increase to the overall compensation expenses of the OVS will be offset by a subsequent increase in federal compensation funding.
This bill would take effect 90 after enactment, and would apply to all pending and subsequent original awards made by the OVS.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4084 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 16, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. NOZZOLIO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to awards for victims of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 12 of section 631 of the executive law, as amended by chapter 377 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: 12. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions one, two and three of this section, an individual who was a victim of either the crime of menacing in the second degree as defined in subdivision two or three of section 120.14 of the penal law, menacing in the first degree as defined in section 120.13 of the penal law, CRIMINAL OBSTRUCTION OF BREATHING OR BLOOD CIRCULATION AS DEFINED IN SECTION 121.11 OF THE PENAL LAW, harass- ment in the second degree as defined in subdivision two or three of section 240.26 of the penal law, harassment in the first degree as defined in section 240.25 of the penal law, aggravated harassment in the second degree as defined in subdivision four of section 240.30 of the penal law, aggravated harassment in the first degree as defined in subdivision two of section 240.31 of the penal law, criminal contempt in the first degree as defined in paragraph (ii) or (iv) of subdivision (b) or subdivision (c) of section 215.51 of the penal law, or stalking in the fourth, third, second or first degree as defined in sections 120.45, 120.50, 120.55 and 120.60 of the penal law, respectively, who has not been physically injured as a direct result of such crime shall only be eligible for an award that includes loss of earning or support, the unreimbursed cost of repair or replacement of essential personal proper- ty that has been lost, damaged or destroyed as a direct result of such crime, the unreimbursed cost for security devices to enhance theEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09676-01-1 S. 4084 2
personal protection of such victim, transportation expenses incurred for necessary court expenses in connection with the prosecution of such crime, the unreimbursed costs of counseling provided to such victim on account of mental or emotional stress resulting from the incident in which the crime occurred, reasonable relocation expenses, and for occu- pational or job training. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law, and shall apply to all pending and subsequent original awards made by the office.