ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Lawmakers continue to battle it out in Albany over the controversial bail reform laws.
Now, victims are speaking out about how they want to see the law repealed.
“I talked to my cousin five minutes before it happened,” Sheila Harris said.
Harris lost her cousin Rosie Osai after she was struck by an unlicensed hit-and-run driver on December 24.
“They arrested the man at five o’clock in the morning,” she recalled. “He went before the judge I believe 9 and 9:30 Christmas Day. Was released without bail and home by 10 o’clock.”
And situations like this aren’t isolated. A recent Buffalo State graduate also lost his life in a crash this week on Long Island. The defendant, who was charged with a DWI in relation to that crash, was also released without posting bail.
Assembly Republicans say it’s time to repeal and start over when it comes to bail reform.
“This is a real public safety issue,” Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said. “If we try to tinker around the issue and try to repeal a little bit here, try to do it there, meanwhile, there are victims there who are suffering as a result of this bill.”
Meanwhile, some supporters of the bail reform law say there should be no rollbacks.
“We are at a choice and a point in history where we have to remember who we are and what we stand for,” NYS Sen. Jamaal Bailey said. “And things are difficult. Things are very difficult for many people, but you have to think about the people who we fought for.”