Posted: Wednesday, 28 March 2007 10:01AM
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Attackers who target the elderly won't face harsher sentences any time soon, despite the recent brutal beatings of two elderly women in Queens.
The Republican-led Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would make it a felony to attack the elderly. The measure was proposed after the attacks on a 101-year-old Queens woman as she walked to church and on an 85-year-old woman beaten by the same mugger a half hour later.
The Senate Republicans contend that the attacker could face only a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail instead of years in state prison under a felony.
"This isn't a misdemeanor,'' she said. "But we want to look at elder abuse and see what we can do.''One of the attacks was caught on a black-and-white surveillance video that was viewed worldwide over the Internet.
"Senior citizens should be able to feel safe on their streets and in their own neighborhoods,'' said Sen. Marty Golden, a Brooklyn Republican. "Criminals, cowards to be more exact, need to know that if they target and assault a senior citizens, they will go to jail for a long, long time.''
In it, 101-year-old Rose Morat is trying to leave her apartment building to go to church. The mugger, a man who looms over the senior citizen and is holding onto a bicycle, pretends to help her get through the vestibule.
The heartlessness of the March 4 attack is clearly conveyed on the grainy, black-and-white videotape, which has now been broadcast well beyond New York.
VIDEO: Vicious Assault on Granny Caught on Tape
"There's certainly a higher penalty for possessing a rock of cocaine in this state than for beating up elderly, bedridden grandparents," Deputy Prosecutor Page Ulrey said.
The jail population in the United States is expected to reach 2 million US makes up 5% of the total global population, it now accounts for 25% of the world's prisoners.
About 1.3 million of the current jail population have been imprisoned for non-violent crimes, usually drug offences a victimless crime.
Yet elder abusers go free and roam the streets, prosecutors avoid these types of cases, and they are seldom punished the brutal attacker of a 101 year old woman could face only a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.
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