senate Bill S6338

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Enhances criminal penalties for criminal mischief and larceny offenses committed at a place of religious worship

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
May 08, 2012 referred to codes
delivered to assembly
passed senate
May 07, 2012 advanced to third reading
May 02, 2012 2nd report cal.
May 01, 2012 1st report cal.647
Jan 30, 2012 referred to codes

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Co-Sponsors

S6338 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9288
Current Committee:
Assembly Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง145.05, 145.10, 155.30, 155.35 & 155.40, Pen L

S6338 - Bill Texts

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Enhances criminal penalties for criminal mischief and larceny offenses committed at a place of religious worship.

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BILL NUMBER:S6338

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the penal law, in relation to criminal mischief and larceny
offenses committed at a place of religious worship

PURPOSE:
The purpose of this bill is to enhance the criminal penalties
for damaging property in any house of worship and to heighten the
criminal penalties for stealing or damaging religious objects from
within a house of worship or its curtilage.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Adds a new Penal Law section 145.05(3} that relates to
criminal mischief in the 3rd Degree. This provision makes it the
crime of criminal mischief in the 3rd degree if anyone damages any
property, regardless of its nature or value, in any building,
structure, or upon the curtilage of such building that is used as a
place of religious worship. This type of criminal mischief is a class
E felony. Under current law, the property must have a value exceeding
$250 or a similar crime had been committed previously by the same
person.

Section 2: Amends Penal Law section 145.10 that relates to
criminal mischief in the 2nd Degree. This provision makes it a crime
of criminal mischief in the 2nd Degree if any damage occurs
specifically to a scroll, religious vestment, vessel, an item
comprising of a display or a religious symbol, or any other item kept
or used in connection with religious worship in any building,
structure, or upon the curtiage of such building that is used as a
place of worship, regardless of the value of such property. Under
current law, such property must have a value of $1,500 or more to be
convicted of this crime. While under this bill, any specifically
articulated religious items damages would trigger this crime. This
type of crime is a class D Felony.

Section 3: Amends Penal Law section 155.30(9)that relates to grand
larceny in the fourth degree. Violation of this section of the Penal
Law is a class E Felony. Under current law, this section is violated
if specific religious property such as a scroll, religious vestment,
vessel or other item is stolen and such item has a value of $100 or
more and it is used in connection with religious worship. Under the
provisions of this bill, any property taken from structure or
building used for religious worship, regardless of the property's
value or what the property is, is considered to be a violation of
Penal Law section 155.30.

Section 4: Amends Penal Law section 155.35 that relates to grand
larceny in the 3rd Degree. Under this bill, certain specified
religious property such as a scroll, religious vestment, vessel or

other religious items that is stolen from a house of worship,
regardless of its value, shall be a class D felony.

Currently, under this section of law, the property must have a value
in excess of $3,000.

Section 5: Amends Penal Law section 155.40(2) that relates to grand
larceny in the 2nd degree. This provision heightens the penalty for
the theft of specific religious items in a house of worship such as a
scroll, vestment, vessel and other items that represent a religious
faith and such items have a value of $250.00 and such items are used
in connection with religious worship in any house of worship.
Violation of this crime is a class C felony. Under current law, the
value of such property must be more than $50,000 or such property
was obtained my means such as extortion.

Section 6: Effective Date.

JUSTIFICATION:
It is important for us,
as a society, to impose the appropriate criminal sanctions for those
persons who willfully enter into a house of worship to either destroy
any property in such building or structure that serves as a house of
worship. Further, for those that enter into a house of worship to
steal any items, especially religious items, the criminal penalties
for such acts need to be enhanced.

Many religious congregations wish to keep their houses of worship open
to the public for at least part of the week and for general
convenience so that members of their community or the public at large
may enter into a house of worship to reflect or to pray. with all of
our busy schedules, it is important that such houses of worship can
remain open at convenient times during the week so that we may all
have the ability to enter into such houses to reflect and to pray.

Recently, there has been a series of violations of houses of worship
in the Bronx and the theft of sacred religious property and other
types of damage to such houses of God. It is important for us, as a
society, to protect religious houses so that they may remain open for
all of us to use. Further, such places must be protected from acts of
violence, or the destruction of their property, especially sacred
religious property. Much of this property has not only religious
significance, which merits its enhanced protection, but historical
and cultural significance. Further, much of these religious items are
irreplaceable. These religious places of worship must be protected
for the benefit of our communities and so that they may be used by
future generations.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the
first of November
next succeeding the date upon which it shall have become law.

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

                                  6338

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 30, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  KLEIN  -- 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  criminal  mischief  and
  larceny offenses committed at a place of religious worship

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 2 of  section  145.05  of  the  penal  law,  as
amended  by chapter 276 of the laws of 2003, is amended and a new subdi-
vision 3 is added to read as follows:
  2. damages property of another  person  in  an  amount  exceeding  two
hundred fifty dollars[.]; OR
  3.  DAMAGES  PROPERTY  WHICH, REGARDLESS OF ITS NATURE OR VALUE, IS IN
ANY BUILDING, STRUCTURE OR UPON THE CURTILAGE OF SUCH BUILDING OR STRUC-
TURE USED AS A PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP BY A RELIGIOUS CORPORATION, AS
INCORPORATED UNDER THE RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS LAW OR THE EDUCATION LAW.
  S 2. Section 145.10 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 961 of the
laws of 1971, is amended to read as follows:
S 145.10 Criminal mischief in the second degree.
  A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the second degree when with
intent to damage property of another person, and having no right  to  do
so  nor  any reasonable ground to believe that he OR SHE has such right,
he OR SHE:
  1. damages property of another person in an amount exceeding one thou-
sand five hundred dollars[.]; OR
  2. DAMAGES PROPERTY WHICH CONSISTS OF A SCROLL, A RELIGIOUS  VESTMENT,
A  VESSEL, AN ITEM COMPRISING A DISPLAY OF RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS WHICH FORMS
A REPRESENTATIVE EXPRESSION OF FAITH OR ANY OTHER ITEM KEPT OR  USED  IN
CONNECTION WITH RELIGIOUS WORSHIP IN ANY BUILDING, STRUCTURE OR UPON THE
CURTILAGE  OF  SUCH  BUILDING  OR STRUCTURE USED AS A PLACE OF RELIGIOUS
WORSHIP BY A RELIGIOUS CORPORATION, AS INCORPORATED UNDER THE  RELIGIOUS
CORPORATIONS LAW OR THE EDUCATION LAW.
  Criminal mischief in the second degree is a class D felony.
  S  3.  Subdivision 9 of section 155.30 of the penal law, as amended by
chapter 479 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD14257-01-2

S. 6338                             2

  9. The property [consists of a scroll, religious vestment,  a  vessel,
an  item  comprising a display of religious symbols which forms a repre-
sentative expression of faith, or other miscellaneous item  of  property
which:
  (a) has a value of at least one hundred dollars; and
  (b)  is  kept  for  or  used in connection with religious worship in],
REGARDLESS OF ITS NATURE OR VALUE, IS TAKEN FROM any building, structure
or upon the curtilage of such building or structure used as a  place  of
religious  worship by a religious corporation, as incorporated under the
religious corporations law or the education law.
  S 4. Section 155.35 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 464 of the
laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
S 155.35 Grand larceny in the third degree.
  A person is guilty of grand larceny in the third degree when he or she
steals property and:
  1. when the value of the property exceeds three  thousand  dollars[,];
or
  2.  the  property is an automated teller machine or the contents of an
automated teller machine[.]; OR
  3.  THE PROPERTY CONSISTS OF A SCROLL, A RELIGIOUS VESTMENT, A VESSEL,
AN ITEM COMPRISING A DISPLAY OF RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS WHICH FORM A REPRESEN-
TATIVE EXPRESSION OF FAITH OR ANY OTHER ITEM KEPT OR USED IN  CONNECTION
WITH  RELIGIOUS WORSHIP IN ANY BUILDING, STRUCTURE OR UPON THE CURTILAGE
OF SUCH BUILDING OR STRUCTURE USED AS A PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP BY  A
RELIGIOUS  CORPORATION, AS INCORPORATED UNDER THE RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS
LAW OR THE EDUCATION LAW.
  Grand larceny in the third degree is a class D felony.
  S 5. Subdivision 2 of section 155.40 of the penal law, as  amended  by
chapter  515  of the laws of 1986, is amended and a new subdivision 3 is
added to read as follows:
  2. The property, regardless of its nature and value,  is  obtained  by
extortion committed by instilling in the victim a fear that the actor or
another  person  will  (a)  cause  physical injury to some person in the
future, or (b) cause damage to property, or (c) use or abuse  his  posi-
tion as a public servant by engaging in conduct within or related to his
official  duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official duty,
in such manner as to affect some person adversely[.]; OR
  3. THE PROPERTY CONSISTS OF A SCROLL, A RELIGIOUS VESTMENT, A  VESSEL,
AN  ITEM  COMPRISING A DISPLAY OF RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS WHICH FORMS A REPRE-
SENTATIVE EXPRESSION OF FAITH, OR OTHER ITEM OF PROPERTY WHICH:
  (A) HAS A VALUE OF AT LEAST TWO HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS; AND
  (B) IS KEPT FOR OR USED IN CONNECTION WITH RELIGIOUS  WORSHIP  IN  ANY
BUILDING,  STRUCTURE OR UPON THE CURTILAGE OF SUCH BUILDING OR STRUCTURE
USED AS A PLACE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP  BY  A  RELIGIOUS  CORPORATION,  AS
INCORPORATED UNDER THE RELIGIOUS CORPORATIONS LAW OR THE EDUCATION LAW.
  S 6. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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