Jacobs, Senate Republicans Unveil Victims' Justice Agenda

Senator Jacobs debating on the floor of the New York State Senate
As one-party control tilts scales of justice in favor of criminals, Senate GOP demands rights for crime victims, their families & the public

(Albany, NY) – In the wake of so-called “reforms” made unilaterally by Democrats that favor criminals, and their recent applauding of the high-profile parole of radical left-wing domestic terrorist Judith Clark who participated in the Brinks heist that left two police officers and a security guard dead, State Senator Chris Jacobs and the New York State Senate Republican Conference today stood up for victims, their families, and every New Yorker impacted by crime with the unveiling of its “Victims’ Justice Agenda.”

The Victims’ Justice Agenda, a comprehensive package of Senate Republican sponsored legislation, aims to reform the parole system to keep violent criminals behind bars without parole and ease the parole process for suffering victims, families and the public.

“Providing for the safety and security of the public is one of the most important responsibilities of government, and that includes protecting the rights of victims and their families,” said State Senator Chris Jacobs.  “Passage of the Victims’ Justice Agenda will go a long way towards restoring tougher penalties for repeat offenders, justice for victims and safer streets for all New Yorker’s.”

The so-called “reforms” made to the justice system have been panned by law enforcement, prosecutors, and justice experts who were cut out of the decision making process by Democrats, who adopted bail, speedy trial, and discovery reforms without input.  Senate Democrats intend to move further to the left by pushing legislation to grant parole hearings for inmates who have served 15 years once they reach their 55th birthday, regardless of the crime the individual committed.

For every Judith Clark and for every criminal, there are far more victims who suffer for years and possibly for a lifetime because of criminal actions. Restoring balance to the justice system means addressing the lingering wounds inflicted on those impacted by serious, violent crime.

“As someone who has spent much of my life in law enforcement, I am very concerned about some of the criminal justice changes advocated by many of my Legislative colleagues.  One of the most important responsibilities we have as elected officials is to keep New York residents safe and to ensure our laws hold perpetrators who commit violent crime responsible for their actions and provide justice for crime victims and their families.  Any changes to our criminal justice system must be carefully examined and balanced to include tougher penalties for repeat offenders and to protect the rights of crime victims,” said Senator Patrick M. Gallivan.

The Victims’ Justice Agenda includes the following pieces of legislation:

S1995 - Little - Provides that the sentence for murder in the first degree shall be life imprisonment without parole.

S357 - Tedisco - Authorizes imposition of life imprisonment without parole sentence for persistent violent felony offenders upon conviction of a violent felony offense when such person has previously been subjected to two or more predicate violent felony convictions.

S1410 - Ritchie - Requires that all comments and testimony made by a third party either in support or opposition in a parole hearing shall be considered when coming to a decision; adds provisions relating to confidentiality of victim statements.

S4127 - Tedisco - Requires that all victim impact statements in New York state be video recorded; requires that the members of the parole board review all relevant victim impact statements prior to the conduct of a parole hearing

S1745 - Gallivan - Provides that any person interested in the grant or denial of discretionary release shall have the right to submit a written statement of views in support of or in opposition to the granting of discretionary release, which the parole board may consider.

S5320 - Antonacci - Requires unanimous consent of the Parole Board to release an inmate on parole.

S3734 - LaValle - Requires inmates to have an acceptable residence to qualify for parole.

S4354 - LaValle - Enacts "Lorraine's Law"; increases from twenty-four to sixty months, the time for which reconsideration for parole for a violent felony offense shall be determined.

S3268 - Lanza - Enacts "Cesar's law" to require the retaking of parolees, who abscond from the supervision of the state board of parole.

S4644 - Helming - Enacts "The Domestic Violence Protection Act - Brittany's Law" requiring registration of violent felony offenders; sets forth duties of the division of criminal justice services; establishes a special telephone number; requires the division to maintain a subdirectory of violent predators.

S1406 - Helming - “Clara’s Law” Requires health care facilities to report incidents of a sexual offense to the departments of health and education.