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NYPD Deputy Commissioner Critiques New Bail Rules Proposed by Albany

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The new bail rules proposed in Albany will keep those arrested for low-level misdemeanors or non-violent felonies out of jail until actually convicted, after trial. On Sunday morning, August 11th, New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner John Miller criticized the criminal justice reform, calling it “misguided”. Photo Credit: NYC.gov

By Ilana Siyance

The new bail rules proposed in Albany will keep those arrested for low-level misdemeanors or non-violent felonies out of jail until actually convicted, after trial.

On Sunday morning, August 11th, New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner John Miller criticized the criminal justice reform, calling it “misguided”. In a session of ‘The Cats Roundtable’ with host John Catsimatidis on 970 AM New York, the NYPD top cop said:

“Everybody who gets arrested for anything except for maybe murder and attempted murder is going to be released without having to pay anything at arraignment.” Miller continued, “Before they enacted this law, 89% of people were being released at arraignment without having to bail anyway. Now that’s probably going to go to 99% — which is going to be a problem because criminals are going to know at the time they’re arrested ‘I’m not really risking going to jail.’”

As reported by the NY Post, the reform is slated to go into effect with the beginning of 2020. It is part of the $175.5 billion state budget deal, penned at the end of March by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Senate and Assembly leadership. Though it was a controversial issue, the leaders decided to pass the measure eliminating cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. Also as part of the bill, prosecutors and defense lawyers will need to share the evidence within a new expedited deadline of three weeks after the arrest. Also, NYPD officers will now need to issue desk appearance tickets to most people charged with misdemeanors and the lowest level of felonies. This will work to speed up the process, which traditionally included putting them through the drawn-out process of taking the suspects into custody, booking them and then having them appear before a judge. Proponents for the law, maintain that eliminating the cash bail for most, will help reduce racial disparities and help alleviate overcrowding in jails.

Miller slammed the changes, adding that the new expedited deadline for the trial discovery process will also lead to dangerous consequences. “That’s going to be a real problem,” he said. He said it will put victims and witnesses at risk. The police unions, as well as all five District Attorneys in NYC agree with Miller’s stance. The prosecutors say the new bill will allow dangerous criminals to roam free, endanger their victims, and limit the power of the judge and other authorities to restrain them, as per the Post.

“The actions they have taken will put victims in danger and I quite frankly do find the whole package unfathomable and outrageous,” said Staten Island District Attorney, Michael McMahon. “Many people accused with violent crimes, serious felonies are going to be back on the street.”

“If you are unfortunate enough to have your house burglarized, you are probably not going to be happy to find out that in almost every instance the court will have to release the burglar under the new law,” said a spokesman for retiring Queens DA Richard Brown. “When the reality of this law sets in, we believe the public will be rightfully outraged — and they are going to want to know who is responsible,” added Brown’s rep.

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