There’s an old rule of thumb that states that any law that’s named after someone is almost invariably ill-conceived and poorly written. The reason: named laws (Anton’s Law or Meghan’s Law) are typically enacted in the wake of high-profile incidents or crimes by politicians looking to do something about a situation…practical applications and unintended consequences be damned. Which perfectly explains Marc Anthony’s Law. . .
Jersey City policeman Marc Anthony DiNardo was shot in the face and killed last July after breaking into an apartment while trying to arrest a robbery suspect. Now, as anyone who’s ever seen an episode of Law & Order or CSI: Anywhere probably knows, it’s already very much against the law to shoot just about anyone – much less a police officer – in the face. But as you can imagine, the DiNardo shooting was big news in one of the biggest media markets in the country.
Enter New Jersey Assemblyman Charles Mainor.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Charles Mainor, the proposed law would make it a first degree crime to use a defaced or stolen firearm to cause serious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer, and a second degree crime to use a defaced or stolen firearm to cause bodily injury to a law enforcement officer.
Prison sentences are pretty much guaranteed with second-degree crimes but not always with those lower. This would become another charge that prosecutors could add in seeking longer terms.
Did you catch that first paragraph? It’s probably just a case of poor journalism on the part of the hapless cliffviewpilot.com, not that it really matters. Mainor’s intent is to make killing a cop more badder and illegaler than it used to be if the shooter had scratched off the gun’s serial number first. Because without the serial number, the poor cop will suffer more and end up even deader. Or something.
“[Detective] DiNardo was a decorated officer. Just weeks before his death he helped save a woman who had jumped into the Hackensack River. He should have been readying to celebrate his 38th birthday, but instead his life was cut short by a stolen 12-gauge shotgun,” said Mainor (D-Hudson).
The law hasn’t been passed yet, but it’s only a matter of time. What self-respecting local politician will want to vote against stiffer penalties for cop killers? And being the primary sponsor will, of course, look awfully impressive on Mainor’s campaign materials in his next election effort. Which is really the ultimate point here.
It’s a meaningless, feel-good exercise that will allow the gallant Assemblyman Mainor to stand before the microphones and say, “by God, I did something about this heinous crime.” Bravo, Assemblyman Mainor. Your everything the people of New Jersey have come to expect from their representatives in Trenton.