Op-Ed: New York’s bail reform disaster is about to become a major election issue
(excerpt from CNBC Jan 17 2020)
A story that’s beginning to boil over in New York is about to become a major issue in the 2020 election.
That is, unless the Democrats can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
That issue is the controversial bail reform law pushed through the New York State legislature by Governor Andrew Cuomo late last year. The law eliminates cash bail on the argument that cash bail discriminates against poorer defendants.
But critics of the law have been warning for months that eliminating bail was sure to put too many criminals with violent tendencies back on streets, even if they weren’t currently under arrest for very violent crimes.
Less than three weeks after the law went into effect, it sure looks like the naysayers were right.
In what’s becoming an almost hourly stream of depressing updates, New York’s newspapers, local TV news shows, and news sites are posting story after story about violent crimes being committed by people instantly released after arrests because of bail reform.
Making matters worse, some of the repeat offenders have been arrested for committing acts of anti-semitic assault and harassment just as New York is seeing a disturbing spike in those crimes.
Now the story has become national news, and it’s a perfect example of the kind of easy-to-understand and emotionally charged issue that can become a major factor in a national election.