senate Bill S7048

Restricts the nature of extreme emotional disturbance as an affirmative defense to a charge of murder in the second degree

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 21 / Apr / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES

Summary

Restricts the nature of extreme emotional disturbance as an affirmative defense to a charge of murder in the second degree.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S7048
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง125.25, Pen L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7048

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to
restricting the nature of extreme emotional disturbance as an
affirmative defense to a charge of murder in the second degree

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To clarify that, for the purposes of the "extreme emotional
disturbance" defense to the crime of murder in the second degree, it
is not a reasonable explanation or excuse that the violent act was
triggered by a non-violent sexual advance by the victim or the
discovery of the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section
125.25 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 791 of the laws of
1967, to clarify that a non-violent sexual advance or the discovery of
a person's sexual orientation or gender identity does not constitute a
reasonable explanation or excuse as an affirmative defense to second
degree murder.

Section 2 of the bill states that the bill shall take effect
immediately.

JUSTIFICATION:

In August 2013, the American Bar Association passed a resolution
urging state governments to take legislative action to curtail the
availability and effectiveness of so-called "gay panic" and "trans
panic" defenses. Such defenses effectively excuse or mitigate serious
violent crimes on the grounds that the victim's sexual orientation or
gender identity played a role in causing the crime to be committed.

Under current New York State law, the penal law provides an
affirmative defense to the crime of murder in the second degree, when
the defendant acts under the influence of extreme emotional
disturbance for which there is a reasonable explanation or excuse, the
reasonableness of which is to be determined from the viewpoint of a
person in the defendant's situation under the circumstances as the
defendant believed them to be. This affirmative defense allows violent
acts that may otherwise meet the elements of murder in the second
degree to be prosecuted as lesser crimes.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7048

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 21, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to restricting the nature  of
  extreme emotional disturbance as an affirmative defense to a charge of
  murder in the second degree

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of  section  125.25  of  the
penal  law, as amended by chapter 791 of the laws of 1967, is amended to
read as follows:
  (a) The defendant acted  under  the  influence  of  extreme  emotional
disturbance  for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse, the
reasonableness of which is to be determined  from  the  viewpoint  of  a
person  in  the  defendant's  situation  under  the circumstances as the
defendant believed them to be.  A  NON-VIOLENT  SEXUAL  ADVANCE  OR  THE
DISCOVERY  OF  A PERSON'S SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR GENDER IDENTITY DOES NOT
CONSTITUTE A "REASONABLE EXPLANATION OR EXCUSE" AS USED  IN  THIS  PARA-
GRAPH. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall constitute a defense to
a  prosecution  for,  or  preclude  a conviction of, manslaughter in the
first degree or any other crime; or
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.





 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD14068-01-4

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