Assembly Republicans call for an immediate repeal of Criminal Justice Reforms

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS 10) — At a press conference Wednesday, three Republicans from the New York Assembly called for a repeal of the criminal justice reforms recently put into effect.

The reforms went into effect on January 1 with the goal of improving bail procedures for low-level, non-violent offenders.

Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay released a statement reiterating his points made at the press conference:

“This is the greatest public safety threat I’ve encountered during my time in the Assembly. We were told these laws would apply only to ‘non-violent’ crimes, but if some of the cases we’re seeing aren’t acts of violence, I don’t know what are. The new laws turned our entire system upside-down. They have made it nearly impossible for prosecutors to do their jobs, hampered law-enforcement’s daily efforts and taken away the ability of judges to do what’s best for the communities over which they preside. The time to revisit criminal justice reform is now.” 

Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C,I,Ref-Pulaski)

Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio was also at the press conference, making this statement on the issues he says the reforms cause:

“These laws are simply unworkable from a legal and law enforcement standpoint. Judges and prosecutors alike are being asked to do things outside the scope of normal legal procedure. Judicial discretion is being assaulted by these laws and lawyers are being forced to conduct pre-trial discovery in ways that are unprecedented. This is bad policy that jeopardizes the integrity of the judicial system.”

Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio (R,C,I-Gowanda) 

Assemblyman Chris Tague joined fellow republicans and called for the full repeal of the bail reform measures:

“I’ve been extremely vocal about this and now standing with the families of victims of these criminals I’m even more resolved to repeal this law. State Democrats have fully sided with the criminals in this state, to the point that they’re killing innocents across New York. It’s frankly disgusting that they’re refusing to budge when lives are being lost and families are being destroyed. Stand up with us and demand they repeal this law. Too many have been harmed and the toll is growing every day.”

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie)

Law enforcement officials were also at the press conference, in the past, they have expressed concerns about the new reforms.

The District Attorney for Saratoga County, Karen Heggen, gave her view on the reforms:

“There was a need for criminal justice reform in New York state, but what we have now went way past that. These are not reforms. These laws crush the very people we are supposed to take care of. I call on the governor and the Legislature to examine these laws and the impacts we are seeing every single day. I ask the people who can change these laws to do better for our victims and witnesses.” 

Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen

Mary Pat Donnelly Rensselaer County’s District Attorney also made statements on the reforms and offered her opinion on what actions should be taken going forward:

“In the first 15 days of 2020, we have seen the reality of these reforms. This can no longer be dismissed as fear mongering, this is fact. Judges have been stripped of their discretion and have been forced to release dangerous criminals right back onto the streets. We need to work together to rethink these reforms to ensure public safety.”

Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly

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