Bill S6283-2013

Relates to certain assault crimes which include the aid or encouragement of additional persons

Relates to certain assault crimes wherein a person is aided or encouraged to strike an unsuspecting victim in the head and cause unconsciousness.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 9, 2014: REFERRED TO CODES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6283

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law and the criminal procedure law, in relation to assault or aiding or encouraging assault

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would provide serious penalties for both youth and adults who make a "game" out of a violent assault, sometimes referred to as the "knockout game" wherein participants (generally a group of two or more youths) choose a vulnerable victim and one member of this group attempts to render the victim unconscious with a single blow to the head. This bill would ensure that intentionally rendering someone unconscious by striking that individual on the head and thereby causing physical injury, serious physical injury or death to that person, or aiding or encouraging another participant to engage in this behavior, is treated as the serious crime that it is and eliminating the more lenient treatment that would otherwise be afforded to youths when they commit the violent crimes involved in this "game."

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section one of the bill adds the act of a minor striking an unsuspecting person in the head with the intent to render such person unconscious or aiding or encouraging someone to do the same and as a result causing physical injury or serious physical injury to the crime of Assault in the first degree (a class B violent felony offense)

Section two of the bill adds the actions described above, when done with a group of two or more other persons, to the crime of Gang Assault in the first degree, (a class B violent felony offense).

Section three of the bill adds the actions described above, when this act results in the death of the victim, to the crime of Manslaughter in the first degree (a class B violent felony offense).

Section four of the bill adds the new subsections of Assault first, Gang Assault first and Manslaughter first to the list of crimes that are exempt from being provided with youthful offender status.

Section five of the bill adds the new subsections of Assault first, Gang Assault first and Manslaughter first to the list of crimes for which youths aged fourteen and fifteen years old may not be treated as a juvenile offender,

Section six of the bill provides that where a child who is convicted of the new subsections of Assault first, Gang Assault first and Manslaughter first, would otherwise be sentenced as a juvenile offender, such person shall instead be sentenced in accordance with the adult sentencing framework.

Sections seven and eight of the bill allow youths between the ages of 14 and 18, who are convicted of any of the new subsections added by this bill regarding Assault first, Gang Assault first and Manslaughter first to be sentenced up to 25 years imprisonment when serving consecutive sentences. This section also increases to 25 years the maximum consecutive penalty where one of the crimes is Arson first and kidnapping first.

Section nine of the bill provides that before a youth, accused of the above new sections of law, may be removed from criminal court to Family Court for further proceedings the court must find that it is in the interest of justice and that: there are mitigating circumstances that bear directly on the commission of the crime; the defendant was not the sole participant in the crime and his or her participation was relatively minor (although not so minor as to constitute a defense); or that there are possible deficiencies in proof of the crime.

Section ten provides the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Media reports have noted what appears to be a disturbing new trend in crime called the "knockout game" that has taken place in New York and in several other states In these incidents, one individual within a group will suddenly sucker punch a stranger in the head in an attempt to render the person unconscious.

Many victims have been women, immigrants and the elderly. The perpetrators are generally young, from early teens into the early twenties, and are in groups where the group encourages the perpetrator to see if he can knock out the victim with one punch to the head. In most cases the victims are not robbed, but it has been reported that the group celebrates and encourages the attacker where the attack is successful. Without the encouragement of the group these attacks would not be taking place. This is why this bill holds all the members of the group equally accountable for this crime, not just the individual who actually throws the punch.

This legislation will provide sanctions appropriate to the seriousness of the crimes involved. Our youth need to realize that this "game" is a serious crime that puts people at risk of serious injury or death, and that they cannot "get away" with these brutal assaults because of their status as youth. Allowing just a slap on the wrist for this type of violent crime will only encourage the continuation and spread of this activity. The depravity of inflicting serious or even life-threatening injury just for fun needs to be addressed, and those who choose to participate in these cruel attacks must be held accountable.

This legislation provides the sufficient sanctions that need to be in place in order to deter people from engaging in this deplorable "game" and to save the vulnerable among us from pain and suffering and even death

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6283 IN SENATE January 9, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sens. FARLEY, BOYLE, DeFRANCISCO, GOLDEN, GRISANTI, HANNON, LARKIN, MARCHIONE, MARTINS, MAZIARZ, NOZZOLIO, SEWARD, SMITH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law and the criminal procedure law, in relation to assault or aiding or encouraging assault THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 120.10 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 791 of the laws of 1967, is amended and a new subdi- vision 5 is added to read as follows: 4. In the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempted commission of a felony or of immediate flight therefrom, he OR SHE, or another participant if there be any, causes serious physical injury to a person other than one of the participants[.]; OR 5. BEING FOURTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR MORE AND WITH THE INTENT TO CAUSE AN UNSUSPECTING PERSON TO BE RENDERED UNCONSCIOUS, HE OR SHE STRIKES SUCH PERSON ON THE HEAD, OR HE OR SHE AIDS OR ENCOURAGES ANOTHER PARTICIPANT TO STRIKE SUCH PERSON ON THE HEAD, CAUSING PHYSICAL INJURY OR SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY TO SUCH PERSON. S 2. Section 120.07 of the penal law, as added by chapter 647 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows: S 120.07 Gang assault in the first degree. A person is guilty of gang assault in the first degree when[,]: 1. with intent to cause serious physical injury to another person and when aided by two or more other persons actually present, he causes serious physical injury to such person or to a third person[.]; OR 2. BEING FOURTEEN YEARS OLD OR MORE AND WITH THE INTENT TO CAUSE AN UNSUSPECTING PERSON TO BE RENDERED UNCONSCIOUS, AND WHEN AIDED BY OR ENCOURAGED BY TWO OR MORE OTHER PERSONS ACTUALLY PRESENT, HE OR SHE STRIKES SUCH PERSON ON THE HEAD, OR HE OR SHE AIDS OR ENCOURAGES ANOTHER PARTICIPANT TO STRIKE SUCH PERSON ON THE HEAD, CAUSING PHYSICAL INJURY OR SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY TO SUCH PERSON. Gang assault in the first degree is a class B felony.
S 3. Subdivision 4 of section 125.20 of the penal law, as added by chapter 477 of the laws of 1990, is amended and a new subdivision 5 is added to read as follows: 4. Being eighteen years old or more and with intent to cause physical injury to a person less than eleven years old, the defendant recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of serious physical injury to such person and thereby causes the death of such person[.]; OR 5. BEING FOURTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR MORE AND WITH THE INTENT TO CAUSE AN UNSUSPECTING PERSON TO BE RENDERED UNCONSCIOUS, HE OR SHE STRIKES SUCH PERSON ON THE HEAD, OR HE OR SHE AIDS OR ENCOURAGES ANOTHER PARTICIPANT TO STRIKE SUCH PERSON ON THE HEAD, CAUSING THE DEATH OF SUCH PERSON. S 4. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 720.10 of the criminal procedure law, as amended by chapter 316 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: (a) the conviction to be replaced by a youthful offender finding is for (i) a class A-I or class A-II felony, or (ii) an armed felony as defined in subdivision forty-one of section 1.20, except as provided in subdivision three OF THIS SECTION, or (iii) rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, or aggravated sexual abuse, except as provided in subdivision three OF THIS SECTION, OR (IV) ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 120.10 OF THE PENAL LAW, OR (V) GANG ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION 120.07 OF THE PENAL LAW, OR (VI) MANSLAUGHTER IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 125.20 OF THE PENAL LAW, or S 5. Subdivision 18 of section 10.00 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 7 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows: 18. "Juvenile offender" means (1) a person thirteen years old who is criminally responsible for acts constituting murder in the second degree as defined in subdivisions one and two of section 125.25 of this chapter or such conduct as a sexually motivated felony, where authorized pursu- ant to section 130.91 of [the penal law] THIS CHAPTER; and (2) a person fourteen or fifteen years old who is criminally responsi- ble for acts constituting the crimes defined in subdivisions one and two of section 125.25 (murder in the second degree) and in subdivision three of such section provided that the underlying crime for the murder charge is one for which such person is criminally responsible; section 135.25 (kidnapping in the first degree); 150.20 (arson in the first degree); subdivisions one [and], two AND FIVE of section 120.10 (assault in the first degree); SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION 120.07 (GANG ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE); 125.20 (manslaughter in the first degree); subdivisions one and two of section 130.35 (rape in the first degree); subdivisions one and two of section 130.50 (criminal sexual act in the first degree); 130.70 (aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree); 140.30 (burglary in the first degree); subdivision one of section 140.25 (burglary in the second degree); 150.15 (arson in the second degree); 160.15 (robbery in the first degree); subdivision two of section 160.10 (robbery in the second degree) of this chapter; or section 265.03 of this chapter, where such machine gun or such firearm is possessed on school grounds, as that phrase is defined in subdivision fourteen of section 220.00 of this chapter; or defined in this chapter as an attempt to commit murder in the second degree or kidnapping in the first degree, or such conduct as a sexually motivated felony, where authorized pursuant to section 130.91 of [the penal law] THIS CHAPTER. S 6. Section 70.05 of the penal law is amended by adding a new subdi- vision 4 to read as follows:
4. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, WHERE A JUVENILE OFFENDER IS CONVICTED OF ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 120.10; GANG ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION 120.07; OR MANSLAUGHTER IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 125.20 OF THIS CHAPTER, SUCH OFFENDER SHALL BE SENTENCED PURSUANT TO SECTION 70.02 OF THIS ARTICLE; PROVIDED, THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL ONLY APPLY TO JUVENILE OFFENDERS OVER THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. S 7. Paragraph (f) of subdivision 1 of section 70.30 of the penal law, as added by chapter 481 of the laws of 1978 and relettered by chapter 3 of the laws of 1995, is amended to read as follows: (f) The aggregate maximum term of consecutive sentences imposed upon a juvenile offender for two or more crimes, not including a class A felo- ny, OR ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 120.10, GANG ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVI- SION TWO OF SECTION 120.07, OR MANSLAUGHTER IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 125.20 OF THIS CHAPTER, committed before he has reached the age of sixteen, shall, if it exceeds ten years, be deemed to be ten years. If consecutive indeterminate sentences imposed upon a juvenile offender include a sentence for the class A felony of arson in the first degree [or for the class A felony of], kidnapping in the first degree, ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 120.10, GANG ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION 120.07, OR MANSLAUGHTER IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 125.20 OF THIS CHAPTER, then the aggregate maximum term of such sentences shall, if it exceeds [fifteen] TWENTY-FIVE years, be deemed to be [fifteen] TWENTY-FIVE years. Where the aggregate maximum term of two or more consecutive sentences is reduced by a calculation made pursuant to this paragraph, the aggregate minimum period of imprisonment, if it exceeds one-half of the aggregate maximum term as so reduced, shall be deemed to be one-half of the aggregate maximum term as so reduced. S 8. Paragraph (d) of subdivision 1 of section 70.30 of the penal law, as added by chapter 481 of the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows: (d) The aggregate maximum term of consecutive sentences imposed upon a juvenile offender for two or more crimes, not including a class A felony, ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 120.10; GANG ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVI- SION TWO OF SECTION 120.07; OR MANSLAUGHTER IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 125.20 OF THIS CHAPTER, committed before he has reached the age of sixteen, shall, if it exceeds ten years, be deemed to be ten years. If consecutive indeterminate sentences imposed upon a juvenile offender include a sentence for the class A felony of arson in the first degree [or for the class A felony of], kidnapping in the first degree, ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 120.10, GANG ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION 120.07, OR MANSLAUGHTER IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 125.20 OF THIS CHAPTER, then the aggregate maximum term of such sentences shall, if it exceeds [fifteen] TWENTY-FIVE years, be deemed to be [fifteen] TWENTY-FIVE years. Where the aggregate maximum term of two or more consecutive sentences is reduced by a calculation made pursuant to this paragraph, the aggregate minimum period of imprisonment, if it exceeds one-half of the aggregate maximum term as so reduced, shall be deemed to be one-half of the aggregate maximum term as so reduced.
S 9. Subdivision 4 of section 180.75 of the criminal procedure law, as amended by chapter 264 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows: 4. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions two and three of this section, a local criminal court shall, at the request of the district attorney, order removal of an action against a juvenile offen- der to the family court pursuant to the provisions of article seven hundred twenty-five of this chapter if, upon consideration of the crite- ria specified in subdivision two of section 210.43 of this chapter, it is determined that to do so would be in the interests of justice. Where, however, the felony complaint charges the juvenile offender with murder in the second degree as defined in section 125.25 of the penal law, rape in the first degree as defined in subdivision one of section 130.35 of the penal law, criminal sexual act in the first degree as defined in subdivision one of section 130.50 of the penal law, [or] an armed felony as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision forty-one of section 1.20 of this chapter, ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 120.10 OF THE PENAL LAW, GANG ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION 120.07 OF THE PENAL LAW, OR MANSLAUGHTER IN THE FIRST DEGREE AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION 125.20 OF THE PENAL LAW, a determination that such action be removed to the family court shall, in addition, be based upon a finding of one or more of the following factors: (i) mitigating circumstances that bear directly upon the manner in which the crime was committed; or (ii) where the defendant was not the sole participant in the crime, the defendant's participation was relatively minor although not so minor as to constitute a defense to the prosecution; or (iii) possible deficiencies in proof of the crime. S 10. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that the amend- ments to paragraph (f) of subdivision 1 of section 70.30 of the penal law, made by section seven of this act shall be subject to the expira- tion and reversion of such paragraph pursuant to subdivision (d) of section 74 of chapter 3 of the laws of 1995, as amended, when upon such date the provisions of section eight of this act shall take effect.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.

Discuss!

blog comments powered by Disqus