Ramos: We Must Protect Victims of Hate Crimes and Domestic Abuse

Assembly passes several measures in recognition of National Crime Victim’s Week
April 22, 2010

Assemblyman Phil Ramos supported several measures the Assembly passed in recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 18-24, including legislation designed to curb hate crimes and protect victims of domestic violence.

Hate crimes are a disturbing trend in Suffolk. On Monday, Jeffrey Conroy was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime in the 2008 stabbing death of an Ecuadorean immigrant in Patchogue. Most recently, the Suffolk DA announced the arrest of a couple for their involvement in hate crime acts.

“Victims of hate crimes are targeted specifically because of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation,” said Assemblyman Ramos. “We cannot allow hate crimes to continue. This legislation will protect victims and ensure we’re doing what we need to do through education and counseling to prevent hate crimes.”

Assemblyman Ramos supported legislation that was part of the Assembly’s Crime Victim’s Package to expand current hate-crime laws to ensure all members of society are being protected, while recognizing the psychological harm hate crimes cause because an individual is targeted simply because of who they are. These bills include:

  • A.9220 - Allows courts to require, as part of a sentence imposed upon a person convicted of a hate crime, that the defendants complete a program, training session or counseling session directed at hate-crime prevention and education. This bill would also expand the development and provision of continuing legal education, training, advice and assistance for prosecutors for use in the prosecution of hate crimes; and
  • A.529 - Establishes a civil remedy for victims of intentional wrongdoing resulting in physical injury or death or damage to their property because of a belief or perception regarding the victim’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation.

Domestic violence is a devastating crime. This crime is about control and this package of bills includes measures that protect victims and vies them the resources need to stay safe. Assemblyman Ramos supported legislation to advocate for the rights of domestic violence:

  • A.10440A - Widens the base of individuals who are considered “victims of domestic violence” and, thusly, are eligible for a broad array of benefits. The bill broadens the definition of “victim of domestic violence” by removing the age limitation and includes acts of sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse, stalking, and criminal mischief among those crimes that would entitle a victim to receive consideration under the Social Services Law.
  • A.9368A - Allows victims of domestic violence to seek a state Supreme Court order directing that his or her voter registration record, which includes a home address, be kept confidential, except for limited purposes under the Election Law, as a means of ensuring an abuser cannot locate them.
  • A.10410 - Provides for the statewide expansion of electronic processing of orders of protection to speed up delivery of orders to law enforcement so that those orders can be more rapidly served to offenders. This measure expands statewide and makes permanent a pilot project that has already been implemented successfully in several New York counties.

“Measures included in the Assembly’s package of bills strengthen the laws that are on the books and add new provisions to protect victims and help them get their lives back to normal,” Ramos said. “We need to take steps to curb hate crimes and domestic abuse in our community. We must help crime victims and their loved ones recover from devastating trauma and pain inflicted at the hands of an attacker or abuser. ”