senate Bill S2238A

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides that the intentional murder of a child under the age of twelve shall be a first degree murder offense

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • 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
Jan 08, 2014 referred to codes
Dec 11, 2013 print number 2238a
amend and recommit to codes
Jan 15, 2013 referred to codes

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

S2238 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9743
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §125.27, Pen L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1990
2009-2010: S6695

S2238 - Bill Texts

view summary

Provides that the intentional murder of a child under the age of twelve shall be a first degree murder offense.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S2238

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to first
degree murder of a child under the age of twelve

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to provide a more condign
punishment for those who prostitute their children.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill first amends the definition of
torture in Penal Law Section 125.27(a)(1)(x) to remove the requirement
that the defendant relish the infliction of extreme physical pain in
the commission of a murder. The bill further adds subsection (xiv) to
Penal Law Section 125.27(a)(1) to provide that the intentional killing
of a child under the age of 12 is first degree murder.

EXISTING 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(a)(1).
Secondly, torture of the victim prior to murder currently constitutes
first degree murder only where the defendant inflicted extreme
physical pain and "relished" inflicting such pain.

JUSTIFICATION: 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. One case from
Buffalo in particular merits discussion here. As reported by The
Buffalo News on October 18, 2012, jurors there convicted Ali-Mohamed
Mohamud of second-degree murder for beating to death his 10-year-old
stepson. After duct-taping a sock in the boy's mouth and binding his
hands with electrical cord, the 41-year-old security guard struck
Abdifatah Mohamud nearly 70 times with a baker's hardwood rolling pin.
The stepfather inflicted "devastating blow after devastating blow" on
the 4-foot, 11-inch boy, who weighed just under a hundred pounds,
separating the boy's head from his spinal cord and crushing the back
of his head, exposing his brain, according to court testimony. Had the
law reflected the changes made by this bill, Mr. Mohamud would have
been subject to charges of first degree murder, rather than second
degree. Cases such as this cry out for the need for increased
penalties for those who murder children. This bill answers those
calls.

This bill also addresses the overly narrow definition of torture in
Penal Law Section 125.27(a)(1)(x). There is no valid basis for
distinguishing-as current law does-between the intentional infliction
of extreme physical pain where the perpetrator relishes the act, and
where he or she does not. Not only is this a meaningless distinction,
it is an obstacle to prosecutors, who must often settle for lesser
charges given the difficulty in proving the issue of whether an
individual relishes the performance of an act. This bill enacts the
commonsense notion that torture is torture, and should be treated
accordingly without consideration of the perpetrator's mindset.


LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.1990 of 2011 Referred to Codes 01/04/12

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November
after it shall have become law.

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

                                  2238

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 15, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  GOLDEN -- 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 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. Subparagraphs (x) and (xiii) of paragraph (a)  of  subdivi-
sion  1 of section 125.27 of the penal law, subparagraph (x) as added by
chapter 1 of the laws of 1995 and subparagraph (xiii) as added by  chap-
ter 300 of the laws of 2001, are amended and a new subparagraph (xiv) is
added to read as follows:
  (x)  the  defendant  acted  in  an  especially cruel and wanton manner
pursuant to a course of  conduct  intended  to  inflict  and  inflicting
torture  upon  the  victim  prior to the victim's death. As used in this
subparagraph, "torture" means the intentional and depraved infliction of
extreme physical pain; "depraved"  means  the  defendant  [relished  the
infliction  of] INFLICTED extreme physical pain upon the victim evidenc-
ing debasement or perversion or that the defendant evidenced a sense  of
pleasure in the infliction of extreme physical pain; or
  (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.
                                                           LBD03164-01-3

S2238A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9743
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §125.27, Pen L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1990
2009-2010: S6695

S2238A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Provides that the intentional murder of a child under the age of twelve shall be a first degree murder offense.

view sponsor memo
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

PURPOSE:

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.

EXISTING 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).

JUSTIFICATION:

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.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2013: S.2238 - Referred to Codes
2011-2: S.1990 - Referred to Codes
2010: S.6695 - Referred to Codes

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of November after it shall
have become law.

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

                                 2238--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            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

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