ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Six of the 14 Albany County inmates on the docket Friday were granted release. Others had their bail significantly reduced. In one case to as low as $1.
Prosecutors said Denfield Scott is charged with Rape and Obstruction of Breathing. He previously posted $30,000 bail. He was then arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection and was being held without bail.
Under the new law, being remanded without bail is only applicable to a handful of offenses, none of which Scott is charged with. So at his bail review Friday morning, his bail was set at $1.
“What happened here is the law was followed. Plain and simple,” said Shane Hug. The local defense attorney represents Scott and said under the new law, the court is required to revisit the release status of defendants.
While bail is meant to help ensure a defendant returns to court, Hug said under the new law they’re supposed to determine the “least restrictive means necessary”.
Richard Burton is accused of slashing a woman in the face with a knife as she tried to break up a fight between Burton and another man in Watervliet. On Friday, he and his attorney asked for bail to be lowered from $75,000 to $2,500. That was so he could post a percentage and pay close to $250 to get out.
Judge Carter ultimately decided to lower his bail to $25,000.
Former judge Arnold Proskin said he feels for a lot of people with the implementation of this new law, including the judges who now have their hands tied leaving little room for discretion.
“The people who are going to be hurt worse, in my mind, are the victims of the particular crimes,” said Proskin.
He went on to say that an order of protection will do little if anything to keep them away.
“I would think twice before I went back in the street if I were a victim,” said Proskin.
“People may have disagreements with the laws that were passed. Then write the legislature and see if they can amend or change the law, but right now, the courts are required to follow the laws as passed,” said Hug.
Albany County District Attorney, David Soares expressed frustration with the fact that some of the defendants released on their own recognizance have a history of failing to appear in court.