We have all seen it in the news — the sick new fad called the “Knockout Game.” An innocent person becomes a victim of someone who just takes a punch at someone who isn’t expecting it. How do we punish the people who are playing this “game” — and should we differentiate between juveniles and adults?
One state is looking into punishing everyone the same regardless of their age. New York — which is often compared to North Carolina because both states consider 16-and 17-year-olds as adults when it comes to crime — is taking an approach to “Knockout” that both adults and juveniles will be punished the same way if found guilty.
The bill has been introduced by Jim Tedisco (R) a representative in the New York State Assembly. Tedisco’s Facebook http://www.jimtedisco.com/?p=740 page looks at the issue:
Tedisco’s bill, which is being drafted, would amend New York State’s penal law to make any person regardless of their age who is convicted of knock out game individual assault or gang assault to face up to 25 years in prison (currently it’s between 4-15 years depending on the age of the defendant). The legislation would ensure that youth who “play the Knockout Game” are sentenced as adults. Those who are there and take part in the action also would be held liable.
“Killing or injuring a person with one punch is no game and the state’s criminal penalties to prosecute these dastardly individuals should not be a joke. These twisted and cowardly thugs are preying on innocent bystanders and they don’t care if the victims are young, old, a man or woman. Life isn’t a video game. These are real people whose lives are not only being put in jeopardy but in many cases destroyed,” said Tedisco.
“What’s shameful is not only that these punks are knocking out innocent people but they’re trying to rack up knockouts to impress their friends. What’s even more dangerous is they’re trying to rack up the most number of knockouts because it becomes a status symbol in the gang. The youthful cowards who think they’re some kind of ‘Big Man’ for playing this barbaric ‘Knockout Game’ should be prepared to face the long arm of the law like men,” said Tedisco.
“This bill is a deterrent because it will ensure that juveniles who commit these vicious adult crimes are tried as adults. It also ensures that any gang member who is part of a ‘knockout game’ assault – even if they don’t lay a hand on the victim – could face a long prison sentence,” said Tedisco.
“Violence like this should not be condoned no matter the age of the offender. Youth should not be an excuse for this kind of behavior and young people, as well as adults, who do this should be counted out,” said Tedisco.
When we think of legislation, should the behavior of some be condoned because of their age?