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Queens Chronicle

Smith for ‘knockout’ penalties

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Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:30 am

State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) is co-sponsoring a bill that would classify any assault in a so-called knockout game attack a class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

“These sick and vicious attacks need to stop,” Smith said in a statement issued by his office. “It is inconceivable to me how injuring an innocent person could be considered a fun game by anyone.”

The bill, also sponsored by Hugh Farley (R-Schenectady), would cover both group attacks or those carried out by an individual.

In a follow-up phone conversation last week, Smith said the law is needed because people are getting seriously hurt.

“If you are attacked, fall and hit your head, you could be killed,” Smith said.

New York State’s penal code already carries sentences up to 25 years for first-degree assault. The senator did not give a direct answer how and why a “knockout” attack resulting in injury should be treated differently by police and prosecutors than those punishable by existing law.

“That’s something that would have to be worked out in committee,” he said.

Welcome to the discussion.