Golden Joins Senate Passage Of Nixzmary's Law

Martin J. Golden

February 27, 2007

ALBANY- In a continuing effort to protect New York’s innocent children from being victims of violent child abusers, the New York State Senate will passed "Nixzmary’s Law," a bill that would require a sentence of life without parole for parents or guardians who kill a child. The legislation is sponsored by Senator Mary Lou Rath and Senator Serphin Maltese along with Senator Martin Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) and Senator Frank Padavan.

The bill (S.675A) is named after Nixzmary Brown, a seven-year-old Brooklyn girl who was brutally beaten and left for dead last year. Her mother and stepfather were charged with her murder. This legislation would create the crime of aggravated murder of a child and mandate a sentence of life without parole for the parent, guardian or other person in a position of trust, who abuses and tortures a child under the age of 14, causing the death of the child or intentionally causes the death of a child.

"Everyone in the State was shocked and horrified by the brutal, tragic death of Nixzmary Brown," Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said. "This bill would close a loophole that allows violent child abusers to escape life without parole when they cause the death of a child. In Nixzmary’s case, the murderers could be eligible for parole after serving only 15 years in prison. This bill recognizes that the crimes committed against Nixzmary were so atrocious and depraved that the killers should never be allowed out of prison."

Existing law mandates the sentence of life without parole for the death of a child less than 14 years of age only in those cases when a person 18 years of age or more commits the crime while committing a felony sex crime against the child. In all other cases, a person who tortures and abuses a child, causing the child’s death, or intentionally causes the death of a child, can be paroled after serving a minimum term, no matter how horrific the crime.

"The tragic death of Nixzmary Brown highlights the need to insure that for the animals who commit these most heinous crimes, against our children, they face nothing less than life without parole," Senator Marty Golden, a former New York City Police Officer stated, "There is no place in society for individuals who have no value for human life, and so, we must act and make law this legislation that will serve as both a deterrent and as fair punishment."

"Murder is abhorrent," Senator Golden continued. "Taking a life shows a lack of respect for life. Taking a child's life is even more abhorrent. However, even more reprehensible is when the innocence of a child is snuffed away by someone they trust, such as a parent or guardian, who abuses and tortures that child to death. To think a murderer could be so vile as to prey on the innocence of a child and still be allowed parole is unthinkable."

The bill was sent to the Assembly.