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Wayne Post
  • OUR VIEW: Help KO 'game' with tough penalties

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  • Imagine walking down the street minding your own business and suddenly getting cold-cocked by some young punk out for a few kicks. Such a “knockout game” is growing in popularity across the country, and state Assemblyman Jim Tedesco, R-Schenectady, thinks it should be dealt with severely. Tedesco plans to introduce a bill that would consider this violent act a gang assault, punishable with a sentence of up to 25 years. Youths —often the ones packing the punch — would be charged as adults.
    Tedesco is right on target. This “game” is nothing more than a vicious attack, and it has resulted in a number of deaths across the country, including two men in Syracuse. In May, two teens, ages 16 and 13, playing “knockout” were convicted of manslaughter in the death of a 51-year-old man and were sentenced to just 18 months in jail. Meanwhile, an 18-year-old is awaiting trial after he was accused of punching and stomping a 70-year-old man to death in September.
    Tedesco told the Associated Press his bill is intended to be a deterrent to stop the game and avoid more serious injuries by what he calls “twisted and cowardly thugs.” Lawmakers should waste no time approving the measure once it is introduced. This is not a game. It’s a pre-meditated act of violence that cannot be tolerated.

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