Bail Reform Update: Mayor de Blasio Calls for Judicial Discretion on Bail, As Senator Tedisco Urges Quick Passage of His Bi-Partisan Criminal Justice Reform Bill to Keep New Yorkers Safe

James Tedisco

January 03, 2020

Bill sponsored by Republican Senator Tedisco and Democratic Assemblyman Santabarbara would provide more judicial discretion to avert a tragedy and close revolving door of dangerous individuals being arrested and released from jail over, and over again

Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) today said the Legislature should heed liberal Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call to give judges the ability to determine whether an alleged perpetrator poses a threat to the community before automatically releasing them under the state’s new bail reform law, which went into effect on January 1st.  

Senator Tedisco is urging the legislature to take up his bi-partisan legislation to give judges greater discretion to protect the public when the Senate and Assembly returns to Albany next week.

Speaking yesterday, Mayor de Blasio said, “the bail reform law needs to be amended. I believe this strongly…there is a chance now for the legislature to get it right…particularly empowering judges to determine if someone poses a threat to the surrounding community and giving judges the power to act on that.”

Mayor de Blasio joins a growing bi-partisan chorus of calls from Democrats and Republicans, members of law enforcement, prosecutors and crime victims who want to fix the new bail reform law and provide for more judicial discretion to protect the public. 

In just the past few days, a New York City woman who committed anti-Semitic violence was arrested and let go and then re-arrested again two more times. In the Capital Region, an Albany man who was accused of stabbing a woman to death was let go, and in Colonie, the new bail reform law forced the release of a serial bank robber.

Senator Tedisco and Assemblyman Santabarbara’s bill (S.6861/Assembly Bill # pending) allows the courts to make an appropriate risk assessment based on a defendant’s prior felony conviction(s), a failure to make a court appearance, or a subsequent arrest while awaiting a preliminary hearing or trial. The new law which took effect on January 1st, provides no such discretion to judges.

“Mayor de Blasio must be seeing clearly in 2020! I’ve got the judicial discretion bill that the Mayor is calling for to address the insanity of the revolving door of individuals who have been charged with violent crimes and pose a danger to our community.  Giving judges more discretion on bail to protect the public should be the first legislation that gets passed when the legislature returns to Albany next week. If this bail reform law is not fixed to give judges more discretion to keep New Yorkers safe, our state could become something like the movie/TV show ‘The Purge’ except unlike that Sci-Fi/Horror show, which takes place one night a year, it’s going to be 365 days of carnage on our streets and in our communities,” said Senator Jim Tedisco.