As a long standing champion of Criminal Justice reform, Senator Montgomery took a back seat to Senators Mike Gianaris (D-Queens) and Jamaal Bailey (D-Bronx) who worked tirelessly to fix our broken prison system by way of Bail reform, Discovery and the right to a speedy trial. Senator Gianaris had long sponsored legislation (S.2101) that would end cash bail for misdemeanor offenses. While Senator Bailey has sponsored legislation that would guarantee a speedy trial (S.1738) and legislation that would create a quick and more transparent discovery process (S.1716).
Here are some of my comments from that heroic night.
We had the perfect team. I must say I didn't believe it was going to happen. But you never know when a miracle is going to come.
This awful pretrial detention system that was maintained by a faulty bail system, where people had to have enough money, and if you were a poor person you had to spend an enormous amount of time in prison. Even though you were not necessarily guilty of anything
There was a tremendous lack of information in the discovery process and trials took forever. So there are people languishing in Prison who have never had a trial. The most famous case was the young person who committed suicide because he spent 3 years in prison and never had a trial. There are collateral consequences to this prison system. There are immediate consequences and for goodness sake, it was a totally unjust operation.