Sunday, January 19, 2020

A Bailout for Criminals : New York’s reform is freeing violent offenders who will harm again.

Photo: Hans Pennink/Associated Press
Label something “criminal-justice reform” these days and it’s likely to be whisked into law in left-leaning states with little thought to the consequences. Witness the fiasco of New York’s bail reform that took effect Jan. 1 and is already producing ill effects across the state.
The reform that passed last year eliminated cash bail for misdemeanors and certain nonviolent felonies. The idea was that people who were no threat to the community were locked up only because they couldn’t afford bail, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo pitched it as a victory for fairness.
It turns out that some of those now going free aren’t as harmless as promised. Strict new timelines for evidence prosecutors must provide defendants means folks who otherwise should be locked up are also going free, especially on drug offenses.
In New York City, a woman was arrested three times in a week after initially assaulting Jews. After the third arrest she was finally detained in a psych ward—but only after the intervention of an embarrassed Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had said when the bail measure passed that he was “thrilled.”
There are similar stories throughout the state. In Fairport police released a man arrested pointing a loaded shotgun at someone, only to arrest him two hours later for going back and threatening the same person. In Peekskill a man arrested for breaking into a stranger’s home was released, then arrested a little while later for breaking a window at police headquarters on his way out. In Manhattan a homeless man arrested for various attacks, including repeatedly punching a woman in the face, was released. Law enforcement sources told the New York Post that a man who allegedly robbed four bank branches was released Thursday and promptly robbed another bank on Friday. He remains at large.
Read the rest from the WSJ's Editorial Board HERE.

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