Tedisco calls for changes to bail reform law
(excerpt from the Saratogian, Jan 6 2020)
ALBANY, N.Y. — Sen. Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) recently said the Legislature should follow 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 Jan. 1.
Tedisco is urging the legislature to take up his bi-partisan legislation to give judges greater discretion to protect the public when state legislators return to Albany next week.
Speaking last week, 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.”
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 recent 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.
Tedisco and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara’s bill 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 Jan. 1, provides no such discretion to judges.