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bail reform

June 4, 2020 - 11:58am

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley has called on Gov. Cuomo to consider changing his position on bail reform in the wake of mass looting and riots following the tragic murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Hawley’s first and foremost goal is to ensure law-abiding citizens have their livelihoods protected during this period when bad actors are taking advantage of thinly stretched law enforcement and the chaos that has ensued. 

“As someone who truly believes in the power of the U.S. Constitution and the rights it affords its citizens, I want to make it clear that any peaceful protestor has my full support; that is their right as an American,” Hawley said.

“What we are seeing is a large sect of criminals taking advantage of this situation for their own selfish gains to abuse the situation and sow seeds of anarchy and dissent, and they must be held accountable for their actions.”

“I am calling on Gov. Cuomo to consider a more aggressive and punitive response to these looters and rioters who are causing the destruction of our state,” Hawley said. “Because of current bail reform laws, these criminals are arrested and then immediately released back on the streets to continue their unlawful behavior.

"I appreciate our law enforcement who are working to contain these looters and rioters, and restoring peace and order. However, these officers are handicapped by the bail reform laws, as they create a continuous cycle where these criminals get arrested and released again and again. That needs to change during this period of unrest.”

February 7, 2020 - 12:58pm
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.

February 7, 2020 - 11:05am
posted by Billie Owens in bail reform, criminal justice, steve hawley, news.

Information from a press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is in Rochester this morning at the oldest home in that city -- the Ebenezer Watts Building. He is with victims impacted by the new criminal justice reforms, and law enforcement professionals and his colleagues from the Minority Conference.

They are gathered to call for Assembly Democrats to address the failing bail reforms that recently went effect into last month.

The members will also discuss their recently issued report "Criminal Justice Reform: Addressing the Issues with Bail and Discovery Reforms."

It 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.

Also scheduled to attend are:

Assemblyman Peter Lawrence (R,C,I-Greece)

Assemblyman Mark Johns (R,C,I,Ref-Webster)

Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes (R,C-Caledonia)

Assemblyman Brian Manktelow (R,C,I,Ref-Lyons)

Senator Joseph E. Robach (R,C,IP-56th Senate District)

Senator Rich Funke (R,C,IP-55th Senate District)

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley

Ontario County District Attorney James B. Ritts

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas J. Dougherty

Monroe County Undersheriff Korey K. Brown

Brockport Chief of Police Mark T. Cuzzupoli

Gates Chief of Police James VanBrederode

Ogden Chief of Police Christopher Mears

Greece Deputy Chief of Police Andrew Forsythe

January 31, 2020 - 4:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in NY cashless bail law, crime, news, Ranzenhofer, bail reform.

Press release from Senator Mike Ranzenhofer:

As we continue to debate the new cashless bail law, I have received several questions regarding what specific changes took place and what crimes are no longer eligible for bail. (See list below.)

According to some estimates, approximately 90 percent of all crimes are no longer eligible for bail. Supporters note that it is necessary to address inequities in our criminal justice system and that the vast majority of offenders are not being accused of violent crimes.

As I have stated several times, there were serious concerns with certain aspects of our criminal justice system. I strongly believe that those accused of crimes should receive a speedy trial, as is mandated by the Constitution. The accused should not be forced to sit in jail for months awaiting trials and hearings over minor offenses because they cannot afford to pay a relatively small amount of bail. However, the answer should be investing in local court systems, not simply letting dangerous offenders run free.

Perhaps the new law’s biggest flaw is removing judicial discretion to consider “dangerousness” when determining bail. Judges must also opt for the least restrictive pretrial condition. Prohibiting bail and mandating that an offender be released back to the streets, when a judge or law enforcement believes they are a danger to the public is simply outrageous.

In addition, far too many crimes no longer qualify for bail. For your convenience, I have included a list of crimes, compiled by the State District Attorneys Association of crimes that no longer qualify for bail under the 2019 Criminal Justice Laws. I have also included several recent news stories from across the state discussing the impact that these laws are having on communities.

Throughout my time in government, I have never seen an issue with such universal, bipartisan calls for reform, across every region of the state. This speaks volumes to me about the real need for change.


Mike Ranzenhofer

State Senator -- 61st District

Offenses that no longer qualify for bail in New York State

Source: the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York

  • Assault in the third degree
  • Aggravated vehicular assault
  • Aggravated assault upon a person less than eleven years old
  • Criminally negligent homicide
  • Aggravated vehicular homicide
  • Manslaughter in the second degree
  • Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree
  • Coercion in the first degree
  • Arson in the third and fourth degree
  • Grand larceny in the first degree
  • Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds or criminal possession of a firearm
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and second degree
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first and second degree
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds
  • Specified felony drug offenses involving the use of children, including the use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense and criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child
  • Criminal solicitation in the first degree and criminal facilitation in the first degree
  • Money laundering in support of terrorism in the third and fourth degree
  • Making a terroristic threat
  • Patronizing a person for prostitution in a school zone
  • Promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child
  • Possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child
  • Promoting a sexual performance by a child
  • Failure to register as a sex offender
  • Obstructing governmental administration in the first and second degree
  • Obstructing governmental administration by means of a self-defense spray device
  • Bribery in the first degree
  • Bribe giving for public office
  • Bribe receiving in the first degree
  • Promoting prison contraband in the first and second degree
  • Resisting arrest
  • Hindering prosecution
  • Tampering with a juror and tampering with physical evidence
  • Aggravated harassment in the first degree
  • Directing a laser at an aircraft in the first degree
  • Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree
  • Criminal sale of a firearm to a minor
  • Enterprise corruption and money laundering in the first degree
  • Aggravated cruelty to animals, overdriving, torturing and injuring animals
  • Failure to provide proper sustenance
  • Animal fighting

Bail Changes in the News








January 15, 2020 - 2:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in bail reform, news, steve hawley.

Submitted photo and press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley joined law enforcement professionals, lawmakers and family members of crime victims at a press conference today in Albany held by Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay calling for a repeal of dangerous bail reform laws that are leading to serial criminals being released before trial. 

Joining lawmakers at the press conference today was Jennifer Payne, mother of Sarah Tombs who was shot and killed in April by her live-in boyfriend. The individual was released from custody last week under the new bail reform laws.

Also in attendance at the press conference was Sheila Harris, cousin of Maria “Rosie” Osai, a 35-year-old mother of three who was struck and killed by an unlicensed, hit-and-run driver in Rockland County on Christmas Eve. The driver was immediately released without bail pursuant to the new law.  

“Bail reform has already become a public safety epidemic with a new, dangerous criminal released back out onto the streets seemingly each day,” Hawley said. “New York City politicians who passed this law are directly responsible for tying our judges’ hands and restricting their ability to lock up career criminals with long rap sheets and that has dire consequences. I am calling on legislative leaders to join us in making much-needed changes to bail reform immediately before any more damage is done.”

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