Youthful offender is to protect children
The media and law enforcement have been widely supportive of the “Raise the Age” campaign so juvenile status would be extended to all criminal offenders under the age of 19, not only those under age 17, in Family Court.
What is often missed in this discussion is that New York already has this rule to a significant extent. It is called Youthful Offender status, and applies in local criminal court. It covers youth between the ages of 16 and 19.
When I was town justice in Niskayuna (1988 through 1995), Youthful Offender status could not be invoked until the accused was represented by counsel, requested the sealing of the charges and that the proceedings be confidential.
In 2008, the law was changed: Now the sealing of the accusatory instrument and the confidentiality of the proceedings is mandatory in any case in which the child is 17 and the accusation is a misdemeanor (Criminal Procedure Law §720.15).
Recently, the Youthful Offender law was violated when the arrest of the 17-year-old son of one of our state legislators was released by the Colonie police. That resulted in the publication of the teen's name in the press, on radio and on television.
We need to remember that this law was passed for the protection of all children. Kids make mistakes, which is why the law exists. And all children should be treated alike, even if their mother or father is a public official.
Bruce S. Trachtenberg
Grateful to staff at Ellis Hospital for care
Both my husband and I recently spent days in Ellis Hospital.
We want to praise everyone from the doctors, to the nurses, to all of the services for their wonderful care. Our stay was without complaint.
Thank you, Ellis Hospital.
Civil forfeiture is legal theft by government
You published a Nov. 4 story [“Federal authorities trying to seize cash sent in mail”] of the Feds seizing $26,000 from a man who they have no proof whatsoever used it in a drug deal. They even used a dog. Most piles of cash that large will elicit a positive response from a drug-sniffing dog. I wonder if he got a T-bone for his effort.
In absolutely any other venue than the War on Drugs (another American Civil War), your paper would call this action exactly what it is: legalized theft.
For an easy and sadly humorous look at Civil Forfeiture, please go to; https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=john+oliver%3B+forfeiture.
Fewer people vote for Schenectady mayor
In the Nov. 4, 1987, issue of The Gazette, one learned of the results of the previous day’s mayoral race in Schenectady: Incumbent Democrat Karen Johnson had been re-elected, defeating Republican challenger Frank Duci and Conservative Party candidate Henry DeLegge. Johnson received 9,689 votes; Duci, 9,201; and Delegge, 2,744.
Fast-forward 28 years to the day, Nov. 4, 2015, where again The Gazette reported the previous day’s mayoral results in Schenectady: Incumbent Gary McCarthy had defeated Roger Hull.
In a year where the city’s population and number of registered voters was nearly the same as it was 28 years ago, the mayor had been re-elected, getting 4,394 of the slightly over 8,000 votes cast.
In contrast, in neighboring Rotterdam, a town with less than half the population of Schenectady, more than 6,600 voters turned out to elect the town supervisor.
In looking at these numbers, one wonders how things will be 28 years hence.