Albany, N.Y., January 23—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) today renewed his call for Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Democrat leaders of the State Legislature to immediately repeal the implementation of New York’s newly enacted “bail reform” law that took effect on January 1, 2020.
O’Mara, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, “Every day this ‘No Bail’ law stays in place risks another tragedy. It is irresponsible to just ignore public safety. Let’s put a stop to this daily madness and go back to work on a more careful and public examination of the law’s consequences that can result in a more commonsense, safer, and workable system.”
The controversial reforms pushed by Cuomo and legislative Democrats have raised alarms throughout New York’s law enforcement community. Among other provisions, the reforms eliminate cash bail and pretrial detention for nearly all misdemeanors and nonviolent felony cases, resulting in the mandatory release of 90% of those arrested, regardless of their criminal history.
O’Mara is currently co-sponsoring legislation to fully repeal the criminal justice reforms enacted as part of the 2019-20 state budget (S.6849) or impose a one-year moratorium on the implementation of any changes (S.6853).
He said that either of these actions would at least allow for statewide public hearings to be held on the consequences of any future changes.
O’Mara is also co-sponsoring the following legislative proposals:
> S.6839 giving judges discretion to set bail in domestic violence cases; and
> S.6840 allowing judges to consider whether a defendant poses a danger to the community when considering a case and setting a securing order.
The goal, O’Mara said, is to restore public safety as priority No. 1.
“Governor Cuomo and the Democrat majorities in the Senate and Assembly should do something besides letting a dangerous and unworkable criminal justice system keep playing out at the expense of innocent victims, and safe communities, streets and neighborhoods,” said O’Mara.
O’Mara charged that the “No Bail” reform has created a system that releases potentially violent criminals back into the community without supervision and fully capable of threatening their victims, the victim’s family members, trial witnesses, and others.
A “Repeal Bail Reform” online petition remains available on O’Mara’s website, omara.nysenate.gov, for area residents who want to register their opposition to the new law.