Senators Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn), Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, and Serf Maltese (R, Queens), called on the State Assembly to pass their bill (S.3684) also known as "Granny’s Law," which would impose stiff penalties for attacks on older New Yorkers.
Senator Marty Golden stated, "Yesterday another of New York's seniors, an 87 year old Bronx woman, was attacked by two men in their late teens or early 20's. Ironically enough, the Assembly Aging Committee today is discussing elder abuse at a hearing. Again, as this horrific reality of attacks on the elderly makes headlines in New York City, I implore the Assembly to move on legislation that will create severe and certain punishment for attacks on seniors."
Golden continued, "If criminals are targeting seniors, then our laws must target specifically these same criminal to prevent these attacks in the future. We have witnessed a rash of these attacks and we are disturbed by them. I hope the Assembly will follow the lead of the State Senate, which has passed this bill, and so that we can change New York law and protect our elderly."
The legislation, S. 3684, passed on March 27, 2007 by the New York State Senate, would make it a class D or class E violent felony to assault any senior over the age of 70. The bill would also make it a class D or class E violent felony to assault someone age 60 or older who suffers from a disease or infirmity associated with advanced age. A class D violent felony conviction carries a potential penalty of up to 7 years in prison, while a class E felony conviction carries a potential penalty of up to 4 years in prison. As violent felony offenses, these crimes would carry determinate sentences and the perpetrators will not be eligible for parole.
The bill was proposed following the attack on Rose Morat, when Golden, Maltese and others highlighted the fact that the penal law fails to provide more severe penalties for attacks on seniors. Such attacks are more dangerous, because the victims are more frail and vulnerable.
"Wecannot allow seniors to be targeted and assaulted simply because they are not physically able to defend themselves," said Senator Serphin Maltese, former Queens Assistant District Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Homicide Bureau. "When anyone gets mugged and assaulted I consider it to be a serious crime. But when a senior citizen is mugged and assaulted, it's an outrageous and potentially life-threatening crime that clearly calls out for more severe penalties."
"There are those who are willing to act and those who are willing to talk. The Assembly likes to say they care, but they refuse to act. How many of our elderly are going to have to be victimized before the Assembly acts?" concluded Senator Golden.