DA partially blames Catskill murder on bail reform

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CATSKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Jeffrey Field is accused of killing Adam White in late August. But it’s a woman named Jennifer Hall and bail reform that Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione said are behind that fateful day.

“Jennifer Hall tells Field that another man put his hands on her, so that kind of set things in motion,” Stanzione says.

Hall is accused of selling fentanyl and heroin in Greene County. While serious felonies, Stanzione said because of bail reform, it’s not enough to send her to jail. The D.A. says that if Hall had been in jail, a deadly fight between Field and White would not have happened. “Bail reform, I believe, in cases like this has undermined our ability to help people,” he says.

Stanzione said the District Attorney’s Association plans to take up the issue of bail reform with Gov. Kathy Hochul. But Defense attorney Lee Kindlon says it’s time to move on. “The logic that the district attorney is using is so tortured, to try and say they’re helping people by keeping them in custody,” he says.  

Kindlon said the strongest opposition to bail reform comes from law enforcement officials—people like sheriffs and prosecutors. “What you don’t hear about are the things that work,” he said. “That it’s getting people out of jail without having to spend money, and being punished because they don’t have the assets to put up as collateral.”

Stanzione, on the other hand, said bail reform doesn’t work and said lawmakers should amend the law. “I don’t know what problems exist in downstate, but I know here in upstate, at least in Greene County, we haven’t seen complaints at all about bail the way it was,” Stanzione said.

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