Senator Gianaris Proposes Eliminating Bail

Michael Gianaris

October 01, 2015


With New York’s bail system facing criticism that it unfairly leaves poor people incarcerated for long periods over minor offenses, Senator Michael Gianaris plans to propose legislation that would eliminate bail entirely.

“The bail system has been bastardized to become a means of imprisoning people without due process,” Mr. Gianaris said. “Too often bail is used as a means to incarcerate someone before they’re even tried and convicted, and what we’ve seen is on very minor offenses, people spend more time in jail waiting for their trial than the offense would justify.”

Instead of being required to pay bail, defendants under the system envisioned by state would face three alternatives. For the most serious offenses, including first-degree murder, a judge would have the authority to remand a defendant to jail. For misdemeanors, violations and other non-felony infractions, a defendant would be released on his or her own recognizance. And for other cases, a judge could order a supervised release.

Read the entire Wall Street Journal article here: