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February 7, 2020 - 12:58pm

Hawley on bail reform: 'Let's stop coddling criminals' -- says businesses, people are fleeing NY at 'alarming rate'

posted by Billie Owens in assemblyman steve hawley, bail reform, news.

Photo from left: Assemblyman Mark Johns, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Assemblyman Peter Lawrence, Assemblyman Brian Manktelow and Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes

Submitted photo and information from a press release:

At a press conference held this morning in Rochester, lawmakers expressed serious concerns with the new criminal justice requirements.

The members also discussed their recently issued report on the new reforms, which provides an overview of the reforms that were passed in 2019, the perceived problems with the new laws and solutions that should have been considered in a more deliberate process.

The reforms were portrayed as a way to improve bail procedures for low-level, non-violent offenders. In reality, they have literally turned into a get-out-of-jail-free card for dangerous individuals.

“In the state of New York, we changed the adage from ‘crime doesn’t pay’ to ‘crime does pay,” said Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia). “We are losing businesses and citizens at an alarming rate, including 77,000 residents last year and a million in the last decade. How many more reasons do we need to give New Yorkers to leave? We need to repeal this law immediately. Let’s stop coddling criminals.”

For months prior to the implementation, law-enforcement professionals, judges, district attorneys and members of the Assembly Minority warned state officials of the enormous challenges, unintended consequences and public safety threats. Unfortunately, those calls now are not merely warning of potential danger, they are urgently seeking immediate action needed to keep people safe.

“The District Attorneys Association of the State of New York and I have supported innovative and reasonable criminal justice reform for years,” said Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley. “Unfortunately, the New York State Legislature did not take the views of prosecutors or law enforcement into consideration when they passed this legislation.

"As law enforcement, it is our responsibility to prioritize public safety. Giving judges discretion to review dangerousness as a consideration for bail, and extending the discovery timeline would promote a safer community while helping to uphold fairness for both defendants and victims in the criminal justice system."

"We need to add reasonableness to the bail reform law,” said Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode.

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