News & Politics

Law: You May No Longer Choke Someone Out in New York and Get Away With It

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Fun Fact! Up until today, “strangulation” was viewed by New York State’s legal system as less than a misdemeanor. Unfortunately, fans of choking people have now suffered a crucial setback.

Via Katharine Jose at Capital New York, strangulation is — as of this morning — now a violent felony in New York. The law change was announced by current State Senator/attorney general candidate in the upcoming election, Eric Schneiderman. Jose reports:

Passing this strangulation bill has been a goal of anti-domestic-violence groups for years. It becomes law this year on the heels of a domestic-violence incident involving expelled state senator Hiram Monserrate and an incident involving David Johnson, the aide to David Paterson who has been arrested for, among other alleged acts of violence, choking his girlfriend. He is being charged with misdemeanor assault.

Of course, that’s “strangulation into unconsciousness,” so there’s no telling what kind of legal hijinks could ensue if one were to be caught “choking mothafuckas out” sans “out.” But still, a step in the right direction in terms of ridiculous laws New York has in place that make for nothing more than good trivia questions, the benefit of which is probably outweighed by, say, someone getting away with an absurd legal leniency. For the record, the “Cabaret Law” still exists in 2010.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]