Senate Republicans pushing back against bail reform law set to take effect in January

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State Senate Republicans are pushing back against the bail reform law set to go into effect in January. They are planning to introduce new legislation aimed to protect victims.

New York State is doing away with cash bail for the majority of misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses. Senate Republicans said this means beginning in January, 400 crimes will require mandatory release.

“It’s been troubling to me over the past year, where we’ve seen criminal justice legislation that has continued to favor offenders over victims,” said New York State Senator Patrick Gallivan.

Senators Sue Serino and Patrick Gallivan have put together legislation they said will boost public safety. One bill would allow judges to “consider dangerousness” when it comes to whether or not a defendant should be held for pre-trial.

“The first measure we’re introducing today will give judges discretion over dangerous defendants instead of only allowing them to assess whether a person is a flight risk,” said New York State Senator Sue Serino.

Another bill aims to protect domestic violence victims from further abuse.

“The second bill we’re introducing would ensure that each crime under the aggravated family offense statute, domestic violence and sex crimes, would qualify for bail and pre-trial detention,” said Serino.

On Tuesday, President Trump also criticized New York’s bail reform law via tweet. Governor Cuomo responded by saying New Jersey passed similar bail reform several years ago.

Jason Conwall, spokesman for the New York State Governor’s Office, issued the following statement:

“Republican Governor Chris Christie passed essentially the same bail reform laws years ago in New Jersey and their state reports have shown that overall crime has decreased with no statistically significant changes regarding re-offenses or court appearances. Politicians taking cues from Trump’s cheap fearmongering should knock it off and focus on the facts.”

The District Attorneys Association of the State of New York is also supporting the Senate Republicans’ bills.

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