As your State Senator, keeping our community safe is my top priority. Earlier this year, I supported the Victim’s Justice Agenda and have been working to assure that the victims’ voices are heard. The Victims’ Justice Agenda creates a violent offender registry, strengthens sentencing for murderers and repeat violent offenders, gives victims and their families a voice at parole hearings and creates new parole board guidelines to keep dangerous criminals behind bars. This is the reform we need to keep our communities safe.
Additionally, I have worked to provide funding for domestic violence organizations and I am co-sponsoring legislation (S.6839) that will help protect victims of domestic violence and give judges more discretion in securing protection orders in certain cases. Because of the elimination of cash bail, certain domestic violence offenders will be released thus putting the victims in jeopardy.
There are many unintended consequences of the new bail reform and discovery laws. Most recently, the Albany Times Union reported that new rules regarding discovery could require abused animals be returned to their abusers.
For instance, aggravated cruelty to animals is no longer considered a crime that is severe enough for bail. This is just another example of how the 2019 criminal justice laws go too far and must be changed.