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Queens Chronicle

Fix the no-bail law now

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Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2020 10:30 am | Updated: 11:37 am, Thu Jan 16, 2020.

Rarely are the negative impacts of misguided legislation so obvious so quickly to so many. But the so-called “criminal justice reform” measure state lawmakers slipped into the budget last year is a remarkably bad bit of lawmaking.

In effect for all of a week so far, it’s already the target of reform efforts — ones that are utterly necessary for the sake of public safety.

Passed in the heat of Albany’s leftward lurch after Democrats clobbered Republicans in 2018, winning control of the state Senate to complete the party’s dominance, the law forbids judges from imposing bail on defendants accused of most crimes. Get caught breaking into someone’s house? Take a walk. Kill someone while driving drunk? Go on home. Make an obscene video involving a child? Don’t forget to come back to court, please!

All this in the name of “ending cash bail” in the pursuit of justice, in order to stop “criminalizing poverty” by locking up people who couldn’t afford bail. Yet judges can’t even take a defendant’s prior record on showing up for court into account when releasing him or her, unlike in other states with bail restriction laws New York legislators cited as examples.

So we end up with people like Tiffany Harris, who celebrated the holidays by going on an alleged binge of slapping and punching people, getting arrested and getting released — until Mayor de Blasio decided the press coverage was so bad his office had to intervene to keep her locked up. So now lots of “progressives” such as de Blasio, who has no say in this, and state lawmakers who do, are looking to revisit the dopey law before the streets are flooded with miscreants.

Remember two things: Anyone who told you the no-bail law applied only to nonviolent crimes was lying to you. And anyone who doesn’t agree it needs to be changed is not worthy of public office. Now keep a close eye on what Albany does about this mess it made.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Helton posted at 8:59 pm on Wed, Jan 15, 2020.

    Helton Posts: 2

    The first line of your editorial says "rarely are the negative impacts of misguided legislation so obvious so quickly to so many."

    And yet the Democratic majority in NY thought that this was a good bill. What does that tell us?

    1) The Democrats have an appalling lack of good judgment

    AND/OR

    2) They knew exactly what this law would do and didn't care, because they must show that, as progressives, they have more sympathy for the criminals than honest citizens.

    NYC is quickly backsliding towards the 1970's in terms of crime - and it's all because Democrats are soft an crime.