Yesterday, a judge criticized a teen's reckless shooting and sentenced him to 18 years in prison, even though his victim said he didn't deserve the maximum sentence. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Edward McLaughlin, who "presides over many gang and gun-violence cases," said, "It is startling that there are not more victims of the kind... given the idiocy of the rampant gun violence in Bed Stuy, Harlem, the lower East Side... To be in a gang and to get acquisition of a firearm doesn’t come with the ability to accurately use the thing."
In 2011, when he was 16, Troy Folk fired at a group of rival gang members in Harlem at 5 p.m. on December 11. He ended up hitting a woman and grazing her three-year-old child. Even though the victim was shot in the stomach, she submitted a letter to the judge, "Mr. Folk is a minor and capable of developing and exercising better judgment. I do not believe that a prison sentence at the upper end of the permissible range is necessary or appropriate in this case."
The Daily News reports that Folk's lawyer also pointed out that he didn't mean to kill the victim, but McLaughlin said, "You made your choices," opting for a sentence at the higher end of the range for Folk's assault conviction (five to 25 years suggested). According to the NY Times, Folk, who turned 18 on Monday, "declined to speak at the hearing, but as the judge announced the sentence, he smiled broadly."