Petition Calls For Amendments To Bail Reform Laws

SEN. Thomas F. O'Mara

January 12, 2020

Since its implementation on January 1, 2020, New York State’s new “bail reform” law has sparked an outcry of opposition from regional and statewide district attorneys, county sheriffs, many law enforcement agencies, judges, and many elected officials that this new law is dangerous and unworkable.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Democrat leaders of the state Senate and Assembly are responsible for enacting this bail reform disaster. Keep in mind that the controversial law was approved without the support of a single Republican in the Senate or Assembly.

Yet the Governor and Democrat leaders refuse to recognize the threat it poses every single day to our communities and neighborhoods.

These so-called “reforms” are nothing more than unlocking the cell blocks and sending potentially dangerous criminals back into our communities and neighborhoods, day after day, with no safeguards. Among other provisions, the new law eliminates 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.

A partial list of these crimes that no longer require bail include:

  • Second-degree Manslaughter
  • Robbery in the second-degree
  • Robbery in the third-degree
  • Burglary of a home
  • Criminally negligent homicide
  • Vehicular Manslaughter in the second-degree
  • Aggravated vehicular homicide
  • Reckless assault of a child
  • First and second-degree harassment (hate crime)
  • First and second-degree aggravated harassment
  • First and second-degree aggravated harassment (hate crime)
  • Promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child
  • Possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child
  • Promoting a sexual performance by a child
  • Possessing a sexual performance by a child
  • Animal abuse, animal fighting and animal torture
  • Grand Larceny in excess of $1,000,000
  • Criminal Sale/Possession of Narcotics regardless of weight
  • Criminal Sale of a Weapon to a minor

New York State Democrats keep shrugging off the warnings and that’s irresponsible, to say the least.

Recently I joined my Senate Republican colleagues to call for a vote in the Senate to repeal the new law. Repeal would allow for the start of a more careful (and public) examination of the law’s consequences so that a more commonsense, safer, and workable system can be put in place.

The Republican repeal amendment was defeated along party lines. Advocates of the new bail reform law, in fact, have started speaking out against making any changes to it at all.

Governor Cuomo, in his 2020 State of the State message on January 8, had a perfect stage to highlight the new bail reform law as the ongoing public safety disaster that it is and at least call for immediate actions to ensure that citizens and communities throughout this state are no longer threatened by it. Instead, he chose to not say a single word about it. He stayed silent.

Nevertheless, not a day goes by without another news report of another dangerous criminal being set free. Not a day goes by without another warning from another county sheriff that another potentially violent criminal is being released. Not a day goes by without another story about another repeat offender.

Governor Cuomo and the Democrats responsible for this bad law refuse to heed the warning signs. How long will they wait?

This petition below is a call for action and one way for you to help send a strong message to Governor Cuomo and the Democrat leaders of the State Legislature that public safety is Priority No. 1 and our communities must be protected.

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