TRENTON - A bill introduced last week in the Legislature would mandate prison time for attacks committed as part of the so-called knockout game, in which teenagers try to knock out random people with one blow.
The attacks, publicized through video footage posted online, have drawn national media attention. Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R., Union), one of the bill's sponsors, said the goal was to deter copycats. "Unfortunately, in our society many things are driven by attention," he said. "It's appropriate in my judgment for New Jersey to make it clear: You play the game, you go to jail."
The bill sponsored by Bramnick and Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R., Monmouth) would mandate a minimum prison term of one-third to one-half of the three- to five-year sentence that can be imposed for third-degree aggravated assault.
Bramnick said he didn't know to what degree the attacks had happened in New Jersey. He called the bill "a shot across the bow to those who think they want to bring this game" to the state.
- Maddie Hanna