Reforming New York’s “One Punch Law” in memory of Jose Zambrano Rodriguez #JusticeForJose

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Jose Enmanuel Zambrano Rodriguez, 26, had his entire life ahead of him. But on November 17th, he crossed paths with a stranger who decided, in one swift act of unprovoked violence, to take that all away from him

The stranger asked Jose for a cigarette, Jose said he didn’t have one. Then the stranger punched Jose in the head once, from behind, causing such profound brain injury that Jose died four days later. But now the stranger is only facing a misdemeanor charge because New York State’s “One Punch Law” denies attacks launched with only one punch from being tried beyond a third-degree misdemeanor, the least serious of criminal offenses.

Such a response to the loss of human life through intentional violence sends a terrible message to those who believe that violence is an acceptable solution to their problems. It also disempowers lawmakers from weighing all moving parts of a case in administering justice for victims of homicide. Victims like our beloved Jose Enmanuel.

But sadly, Jose’s case is not the first time such a crime has gone so tragically overlooked.

In 2014, the man who killed Idelfonso Romero Jr. with one punch only served a 5 month prison sentence. Romero’s family fought for reform that passed the NY State Senate but stalled when it reached the State Assembly. Since then, Ishmael Bacus, Troy Scott, Danny McGee, Sandor Szabo and our dear Jose have lost their lives due to one punch. In the name of Jose Enmanuel, join us in demanding the New York State Assembly reform the “One Punch Law.”