What Are Your Rights? Domestic Terrorism Law Proposed in New York

Man: The following segment is sponsored by Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti.

Interviewer: In the wake of a number of recent mass shootings, including one at an El Paso Walmart that left 22 people dead and at least that many injured, New York governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing a new domestic terrorism law. Now here to help examine this new proposal is managing partner Paul Harding from the law firm of Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti. Paul, welcome.

Paul: Thank you.

Interviewer: All right. Thank you so much for here.

Paul: Sure.

Interviewer: We’ll kind of jump right into it. So, first question, can you explain to us exactly what the new proposed law entails?

Paul: So, the new law’s gonna be this, if someone is found to have done a mass shooting, and it’s motivated by a bunch of things but race, gender and if they qualify as a hate crime they’re now gonna fall in this new statute, domestic terrorism. And in essence, it’s gonna raise the penalty that they can receive.

Interviewer: So how does something like this differ or maybe change the current laws against murder or acts of terrorism that are already in the books?

Paul: So some confusion. So in New York, virtually all murders are charged under murder second or murder in the second degree. And very few are charged in murder in the first degree because that’s limited to a murder or homicide against a police officer, firefighter, or in some cases, if you have a certain crime you’re committing. So in essence, it would take the crime of mass shooting and elevate it to murder one. Right now, technically, it would fall under murder two.

Interviewer: Okay, and the difference is, again, break that down for us.

Paul: Yeah, the difference is gonna be how long that the penalty’s gonna be. So murder two is between 15 to 25 years with the parole at the end. Murder one, you go to jail, no parole, and they’re gonna elevate the domestic terrorism or mass shooting rule to murder one.

Interviewer: All right. Paul Harding, thank you so much for breaking all that down for us this afternoon.