Provides that a person may be charged with promoting a suicide or manslaughter if he or she is convicted of endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, an incompetent or physically disabled person and the conduct was the proximate cause of the victim's suicide.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A5249
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to penal-
ties for promotion of a suicide attempt
PURPOSE OF THE BILL:
To increase penalties for endangering the welfare of an incompetent or
physically disabled person or a vulnerable elderly person when it
significantly contributes to a victim's suicide attempt.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of this bill amends section 120.30 of the Penal Law to add
certain violations related to endangering the welfare of an incompetent
or physically disabled person or a vulnerable elderly person to the
definition of promoting a suicide attempt when such conduct significant-
ly contributes to the victim's suicide attempt. This charge is a class E
Section 2 of the bill amends section 125.15 of the Penal Law to add the
same provisions above to the definition of manslaughter in the second
degree which is a class C felony.
Section 3 sets forth the effective date.
Bailey Bates, a 19-year-old autistic man from Poughkeepsie, New York,
tragically committed suicide in July 2017 after falling victim to a
financial scam. According to reports, a young woman whom he had known
for years befriended him shortly before the scheme and asked him for
help cashing a check, which ultimately resulted in the young woman and
her accomplice stealing money from an account holding his disability
assistance. When Bailey's family learned of the illegitimate transaction
they contacted law enforcement who began an investigation. Bailey's
family has indicated that he was extremely distraught over this betrayal
of his trust and they believe - along with local law enforcement - that
he did not understand what was happening or that he was a victim in this
case. Tragically, a week after this crime, he took his own life. Based
on a note that he left, it was clear he believed he had done something
Given the facts of this case, the accused stand only to be charged with
minimal counts of endangerment and grand larceny despite reported crimi-
nal histories and acute knowledge that Bailey was a vulnerable victim.
While no law can bring Bailey back, it is important that people are held
accountable for the outcome of their actions, particularly in cases
where they prey on the most vulnerable. Hopefully, this legislation will
make other potential scam artists think twice about the permanent damage
they can cause not only their victim, but the many friends and loved
ones of those they victimize.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
February 12, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. BARRETT, SANTABARBARA, McDONOUGH -- read once and
referred to the Committee on Codes
AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to penalties for promotion of
a suicide attempt
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 120.30 of the penal law is amended to read as
3 § 120.30 Promoting a suicide attempt.
4 A person is guilty of promoting a suicide attempt when:
5 (a) he or she intentionally causes or aids another person to attempt
6 suicide; or
7 (b) he or she endangers the welfare of an incompetent, a vulnerable
8 elderly person or a physically disabled person as set forth in section
9 260.25, 260.32 or 260.34 of this chapter and such conduct significantly
10 contributed to the victim's suicide attempt.
11 Promoting a suicide attempt is a class E felony.
12 § 2. Section 125.15 of the penal law is amended to read as follows:
13 § 125.15 Manslaughter in the second degree.
14 A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when:
15 1. He or she recklessly causes the death of another person; or
16 [3.] 2. He or she intentionally causes or aids another person to
17 commit suicide;
18 3. He or she endangers the welfare of an incompetent, a vulnerable
19 elderly person, or a physically disabled person as set forth in section
20 260.25, 260.32 or 260.34 of this chapter and such conduct significantly
21 contributed to the victim's suicide.
22 Manslaughter in the second degree is a class C felony.
23 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.