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Jusheem Thorne’s Hit-and-Run Killers Have Little to Fear

1:59 PM EDT on March 29, 2012

A 25-year-old man was brutally killed by two hit-and-run drivers in Crown Heights early Wednesday.

According to reports, Jusheem Thorne was riding his skateboard in the crosswalk on Rochester Avenue at Eastern Parkway when he was hit by the driver of a maroon Mercury minivan racing to beat the light. As he lay injured in the street, he was run over by the driver of a white Acura. Neither driver stopped. The Daily News spoke with a witness who watched the massacre unfold:

Tyrone said the driver barely slowed down and fled westbound in the local lane of Eastern Parkway, toward Utica Ave. He said it was only moments later that the man was struck a second time as he lay in the middle of Eastern Parkway.

“I was about to chase the van so I could see the plates and then here comes another car, a white Acura, and it rolled over him and just kept on going," he said. Tyrone said the Acura was heading east and had a green light.

Tyrone said the man appeared to be hurt but conscious after being slammed by the minivan, but the second impact left him lifeless.

"He was moving at first, but when the second car rolled over him, he stopped moving. He was completely still," he said.

The savagery of these crimes is chilling. In a civil society, where having a foot on the gas pedal is not by default considered a mitigating circumstance, the Acura driver at least would be subject to a second-degree murder charge and a lengthy prison term. But this is New York, where judges coddle criminals who kill in the act of fleeing police and prosecutors seek leniency for hit-and-run drivers who cop to manslaughter. At this point there can be no testing for intoxication -- not that they couldn't have avoided a DWI charge regardless. As for leaving the scene, a simple "I didn't see him" usually does the trick.

The sad fact is that, assuming either of these killers are caught, they are likely to receive little to no jail time, and may reasonably be expected to retain their driving privileges.

Jusheem Thorne was killed on the border of the 71st and 77th Precincts. To voice your concerns about traffic safety directly to Inspector Peter Simonetti or Deputy Inspector Elvio Capocci, the precincts' respective commanding officers, head to their next precinct community council meeting. The 71st Precinct council meetings happen at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at MS 61, located at 400 Empire Boulevard. The 77th council meets at 7:30 p.m. every second Monday at 127 Utica Avenue.

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