Good news: State lawmakers may be starting to worry that voters are linking their 2019 no-bail-required law to the spike in violent crime. Bad news: They’re making meaningless gestures that let them pretend they’re fixing the law without offending the pro-criminal left.
Case in point: Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Westchester) and state Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick (D-Rockland/Westchester) are pushing legislation to give judges discretion to set bail in certain gun cases.
Great. But it won’t make much difference because judges already have discretion in many such cases. Meanwhile, their hands are tied in cases involving numerous other violations.
Nor can judges consider whether the defendant is a danger to the community. The current statute also forces them to impose the “least restrictive means” to ensure an accused person returns to court. And it contains discovery rules that enable defendants to get key info about witnesses, prompting many to clam up and destroy prosecutors’ cases.
All of which has led to numerous perps with long rap sheets being released with no bail soon after arrest — only to commit new crimes soon after. Yet none of that is on tap to be fixed.
Even reforming bail reform (and properly this time; public outcry forced some changes last year but far from enough) may not suffice to curb the crime spike. That’s partly because many offenses, especially gun crimes, involve teens under 18, who — thanks to the Raise the Age law — can’t be prosecuted as adults and locked up as easily.
Fact is, New York’s pro-criminal laws offer a target-rich environment for any lawmaker who truly wants to rein in crime. Too bad so many of them are more interested in pretending.
View original post