Ortt Calls For Action on Criminal Justice Reform

Robert G. Ortt

January 07, 2020

A press release from Senator Rob Ortt (R,C,I,Ref-North Tonawanda)

Lockport, NY --- Today, Senator Rob Ortt (R,C,I,Ref-North Tonawanda) is calling for the Senate Majority to take action on Senate Bill 6861, which would repeal the state’s recently enacted criminal justice reforms.

Since being enacted on January 1, 2020, news outlets have documented countless stories of individuals committing crimes within hours of required release due to changes in New York State’s new criminal justice and bail laws. On Sunday, an individual in Hoosick Falls, NY was arrested for smashing in a young woman’s windshield with an ax. After being arrested by police, the individual was immediately released with only an appearance ticket. Because of New York State’s new bail reform, the presiding judge was unable to detain this individual. 

In New York City, an individual was arrested three times within the span of one week for assaulting Jewish residents in anti-Semitic, religiously motivated hate crimes.

On Long Island, a 22-year-old allegedly burglarized four businesses before being caught by police. After his arrest, the individual was released due to New York State’s new bail reforms. Authorities then say the individual broke into another establishment less than 24 hours after he was originally arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead. Investigators claim the 22-year-old committed five burglaries in the span of four days.

“New York State’s new criminal justice reforms endangers millions of New York residents,” said Sen. Ortt. “Thanks to Democrats and their reforms, our judges and law enforcement have been handcuffed, while criminals and lawbreakers have been given ‘get out of jail free’ cards. The acts of violence and crimes committed due to the newly enacted reforms are in direct response to the implementation of New York State Democrats’ wayward policies.”

Senate Bill 6861, which Ortt cosponsors, would restore judicial discretion in setting a securing order with respect to a defendant’s prior felony convictions, failure to make an appearance in court, or subsequent arrests while awaiting trial.

“Our judges need to have the power of discretion returned to them in order to ensure that dangerous offenders remain behind bars while awaiting trial,” said Ortt. “The new bail reforms have created far too wide of a scope for those eligible to be released without bail and has put the public at risk. We must allow our judicial system to review each case independently, and allow our judges to make the best ruling they can based on their experiences and the circumstances of each case.”

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