April 6, 2022, 6:10am
North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik led the New York Republican delegation in sending a letter calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to completely repeal New York’s bail reform policies and enact a “dangerousness standard” that allows judges to thoroughly consider the danger an individual poses to the community when making bail or pretrial release decisions.
“Albany Democrats’ reckless and dangerous bail reform policies have fueled skyrocketing crime in our communities, undermined our law enforcement, and failed to keep the residents of New York safe,” Stefanik said. “Governor Hochul cannot make a half-hearted attempt to backtrack her failed bail reform policies while New York communities suffer. Anything less than completely reversing these devastating bail reform policies will fail New Yorkers.” In the letter, the lawmakers point out that “New York City’s crime rate has increased nearly 60% over last year, including historic numbers of murder, rape, robbery, and assault. Specifically, there has been a 54% increase in robberies, a 56% increase in grand larceny incidents, a 22% increase in rapes, a 10% increase in murders, and a 1.3% increase in shooting incidents as compared to 2021.”
It has been reported that Kathy Hochul is only making updates to the current bail reform in her revised New York State budget, while keeping bail reform largely in place.
Stefanik was joined by Reps. Tom Reed (NY-23), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Chris Jacobs (NY-27), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), and John Katko (NY-24).
Read the full letter below:
Dear Governor Hochul,
“We write today to express serious concern that your 10-point plan to make changes to the bail laws in New York State falls dangerously short of what is needed to keep New Yorkers safe. Any proposal that does not completely reverse the bail reform policies that took effect in January 2020 would be a serious failure on the part of your administration.
“New York State is facing a historic crime wave as a result of the state’s disastrous bail reform policies. New York City’s crime rate has increased nearly 60% over last year, including historic numbers of murder, rape, robbery, and assault. Specifically, there has been a 54% increase in robberies, a 56% increase in grand larceny incidents, a 22% increase in rapes, a 10% increase in murders, and a 1.3% increase in shooting incidents as compared to 2021.
“Most recently, the nation mourned the lives of Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, brave New York police officers who were fatally shot in the line of duty by an individual with several prior arrests, including assaulting a police officer. Days after these tragedies, you said, “I will absolutely stand behind the fundamental premise on why we needed bail reform in the first place.” We sincerely hope this is no longer the case.
“Among the most reckless parts of the bail reform law were the elimination of cash bail for most misdemeanor and nonviolent felony charges and expanded options for pretrial release conditions. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in rearrests of individuals who would have previously been in custody pending bail, but instead were allowed to commit crimes and other violent felonies. Whereas only 9% of offenders released on non-monetary release were rearrested for felony crimes in New York City in 2018, approximately 43% of offenders were rearrested for felony crimes between July 2020 and June 2021. This doesn’t include the additional offenders rearrested for misdemeanor charges due to the disastrous changes in bail reform.
“The state’s bail reform also refused to address the danger an individual poses to the community before releasing them. Therefore, New York remains the only state not to consider dangerousness in bail decisions. It is critical you reverse these reforms and fully address the disaster you have allowed to continue.
“Any proposal that fails to repeal the entire bail reform and enact a “dangerousness standard” that allows judges to thoroughly consider public safety when making bail or pretrial release decisions is unacceptable. You must address the lawlessness and disorder created by New York State’s failed bail reform law, including putting in place common sense reforms that support our local law enforcement and keep our community members safe. Thank you for your prompt attention to this serious matter.”
Read the full article here.