In an effort to protect New Yorkers from online bullying, Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/ Orange) introduced a bill today that will make “bullycide” a felony. The bill will expand second-degree manslaughter to include “bullycide” or death by cyberbullying when a perpetrator intentionally or recklessly causes a victim to commit suicide, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
“More and more often we are hearing about people, especially young adults who are being tormented by their peers through new media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter,” Senator Carlucci said. “Sadly, these new media tools are an easy and cowardly way for bullies to intimidate others in a public venue, causing extreme emotional damage to their victims. Serious consequences are needed to hold cyberbullies accountable for their actions, and this bill sends that message loud and clear.”
The bill also up-dates third degree stalking to include cyberbullying, which is defined as using electronic communications to cause fear, harm or emotional distress to a person under 21 years old.