Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

“A day which will forever live in infamy. . .” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed these words on December 7, 1941 following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Some will argue that May 1, 2011 will now fall under that category as well. Osama Bin Laden, the well-known terrorist leader of Al-Qaeda was finally brought to justice after a secret mission was launched in Pakistan, which ultimately led to his demise. Cheers of joy rang throughout the United States that night after President Barack Obama officially announced his death. They were, however, heard the loudest in the state most effected by this individual — The Big Apple, otherwise known as New York City. Due to his instrumental hand in the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Osama’s death brought about mixed emotions for some New York-ians. Having the blood of nearly 3,000 people on his hands, it was no surprise that the general feeling running through the veins of Americans that night was pure elation. Finally, after a decade-long manhunt, this awful individual was brought to rightful justice, a fate some say was more than appropriate. There were, however, reservations about “celebrating someone’s death.” Seeing as most people don’t share the same hateful make-up of a person like Osama bin Laden, it was odd balancing act for individuals. Are we rejoicing his death or the long-awaited act of justice? Either way one looks at it, we all have something to be thankful for these days. The mastermind behind the world’s most powerful and influential terrorism groups has been removed. That should bring some sense of security to individuals everywhere, even if only for a short while. The question now becomes: “What next?” Some fear a strong retaliation from his followers while other are optimistic. Regardless, the world has become a better place for the time being and New Yorkers can finally rest with a sense of justice that they’ve been yearning for 10 years now.

Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for thousands of innocent lives

"Twin Towers, just after they've been struck"

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A 12-year-old boy in Staten Island, NY has been charged with a felony hate crime after he attacked a female, Muslim classmate and tried to rip off her hijab.

Osman Daramy was reportedly led off school grounds in handcuffs on Wednesday after he allegedly punched and kicked a young 13-year-old Muslim girl. After striking her, Daramy attempted to remove the girl’s hijab, or head covering, while some say he yelled, “Are you a Muslim?” He failed.

The New York Post caught the boy in handcuffs.

According to the New York Post, the girl suffered some bruises and a cut lip.

Daramy is apparently a regular hellion. Sources told the New York Daily News that this is the fourth time in recent months that he has targeted the young girl. Earlier in the week he got in trouble for cutting out a chunk of another girl’s hair. The Post elaborates:

On Monday, Osman raised hell in one class when he ran amok wielding scissors after using them to cruelly lop off a girl’s hair, sources said. But instead of being booted from school or arrested, Osman was merely “suspended in-house,” a teacher said.

Osman’s behavior is so problematic that officials at one point posted a school safety agent in front of that class just “so the teacher could teach,” a staffer said.

Two weeks ago, Osman was present when five other young punks at the school robbed a deliveryman who was dropping off pizza and soda at an after-school study program, insiders said.

The crooks demanded food and cash from the deliveryman before fleeing with just the food, authorities said. They were busted the next day.

“This child is a terror. He goes around terrorizing staff and students,” a teacher at the school told the Post.

The boy‘s mother condemned her son’s actions to the Post. “I know my son is a good boy. He’s a kid, he made a mistake. [But] it’s not right for him to bug anybody for their religion.”

The Department of Education told the Daily News that disciplinary action is pending. His case will be handled in family court because of his age.

Third best. Second runner-up. The bronze medal. Placing third in something is usually an achievement, right? When it comes to the death penalty, however, I beg to differ. New York is currently the state with the 3rd highest amount of executions, trailing only Virginia and Texas. The death penalty has an interesting history in the Empire State. It was initially (but accidentally) abolished in 1861, when the governor at that time, Edwin D. Morgan, outlawed hanging as a means of execution. However, not a year later, this statute was declared unconstitutional and the death penalty was fully restored by 1862.

A Shocking New Addition

3…2…1…Happy New Year! Welcome to 1887. It was in this calendar year, that a committee was organized to devise a new, more “humane” form of execution. Sidenote: that sounds rather ironic—humane way of ending someone’s life. Sounds more like an oxymoron, right?

Alfred P. Southwick, a member of the committee, developed the idea of putting electric currents through a device such as a chair after hearing about how relatively painlessly and quickly a drunken man died due to touching exposed power lines. As Southwick was a dentist accustomed to performing procedures on subjects in chairs, his electrical device appeared in the form of a chair.

The first individual to be executed in the electric chair was William Kemmler, on August 6, 1890. Currents were passed through Kemmler for 17 seconds and he was declared dead, but witnesses noticed he was still breathing, and the current was turned back on. From start to finish, the execution took eight minutes. During the execution, blood vessels under the skin ruptured and bled, and some witness reported that Kemmler’s body set on fire. …How on Earth does that seem humane? Granted, it was a vastly different method than hanging. However, neither seems humane in my opinion. 8 minutes.

It took almost 75 years for the death penalty to reach some level of restriction once again. In 1965, Governor Rockefeller signed legislation which abolished the death penalty except for cases involving the murder of a police officer.

Modern Day Capital Punishment–Death in a Needle

Flash forward to 1995. After years of dormancy, the death penalty took advantage of what seems to be a 9-life existence. Governor George E. Pataki reinstated capital punishment in the state of New York, while adding another form of execution–lethal injection. Facing much opposition, the death penalty was ruled as a violation of the New York Constitution in 2004. Governor George Pataki attempted to file a repeal of this, seeing as it was one of the main points of his political campaign. In 2008, the new governor, David Paterson issued a ruling that required the removal of all the state’s execution equipment, essentially removing the death penalty from New York State.

Since 1977, there have been a total of 598 executions in the United States. A particular staggering figure was the execution of 98 people alone in 1998. Rather humane, hmm?