Democrat New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is defending her support for the state’s controversial soft-on-crime bail reform law as the crime wave continues.
“I’m looking for the data that shows me that bail reform is the reason that somehow crime is going up,” Hochul said in a Monday Post-Journal report. “I’m focused on what I have control over right now.”
According to the Center for Court Innovation, in January 2020 New York State “put into effect sweeping criminal justice legislation, strictly curtailing the use of cash bail and pretrial detention, overhauling rules governing the sharing of evidence, and strengthening measures intended to ensure a defendant’s right to a speedy trial.”
This has resulted in criminals being put back out on the streets, according to a report cited in a New York Post article:
New data from the state’s Office of Court Administration clearly shows that the “fix” did not go nearly far enough. The data cover arrests made from July 1, 2020, through Aug. 30, 2020, the first two months of the new law, and prove what many prosecutors and police have been saying: The rise in crime is due to repeat offenders being released back onto the streets after arrest.
The Post-Journal reported on Hochul, who wants to be elected governor this year after assuming office when disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped down after charges of sexual harassment:
State Senate GOP Leader Rob Ortt and members of his conference, including Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, and Peter Oberacker, R-Otsego County, insist judges should again have the ability to set bail in cases where they believe the defendant poses a threat to community safety.
Hochul drew sharp criticism from her rival for the Democratic nomination for governor, Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-Long Island, and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-North Country. Led by Stefanik, six GOP members of New York’s congressional delegation, in a letter to Hochul, called for her to “prioritize public safety over irresponsible policies put forward by the far left.”
The New York State Sheriffs’ Association and the New York State Association of Police Chiefs have also been firm in urging that judges again be given the authority to use the dangerousness standard in bail matters.
“By refusing to add a dangerousness standard and to give judges more discretion, Hochul is standing against common sense,” Suozzi said.
One aspect of Hochul’s plans to address the crime surge, according to the Post-Journal, is to hire social media analysts “as part of an effort to flag messages that could be preludes for acts of violence.”
She also said there will be efforts to disrupt guns coming into New York from Pennsylvania, a state that has fewer gun restrictions.
The governor stated that a new state office, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, will become part of the state Department of Health.
“We are coming at this issue with all the resources we can deploy,” Hochul told the Post-Journal.
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