top of page
  • snitzoid

NY got rid of cash bail in 2019. Worked so well that they're bringing bail back!

Shocker, you release a bunch of violent criminals into society and crime rates spiral up!

PS. I'm not saying it makes sense to keep somebody locked up (w/o bail) for minor non violent crimes.

New York Might Roll Back Big Progressive Measure: Bail Reform

Violent, high-profile incidents have leaders, including Gov. Kathy Hochul, pressing to reinstate bail

By Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ

Updated Mar. 30, 2022 4:49 pm ET

ALBANY, N.Y.—New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is seeking to amend the state’s bail law as part of the state budget due this week, a change that could unwind in the state a signature plank of the broader criminal-justice agenda pushed in recent years by progressives.

The state banned cash bail for most misdemeanor and nonviolent felony offenses in 2019, saying it would reduce racial disparities in the criminal-justice system. Now, after Republicans and police officials blamed the law for several high-profile incidents, Ms. Hochul proposed letting judges set bail for more repeat offenders, as well as for people who are accused of a larger list of gun crimes.

If adopted, New York would become the biggest state to pull back on progressive criminal-justice policies, some of which have come under attack amid a nationwide rise in violent crime.

Democratic New Jersey mayors in February called on lawmakers there to require pretrial detention for people accused of gun crimes, tightening a bail law that was loosened in 2017. In Wisconsin, the Republican-controlled state Assembly passed a constitutional amendment last month that would make it harder for criminal defendants to be released on bail. The measure gained steam after a 39-year-old man who was free on bail allegedly killed six people when he drove his SUV through a downtown Christmas parade in Waukesha.

Major crimes in New York City this year are up nearly 20%—with shooting incidents up 71%—in comparison with the same period in 2020, when the bail law first took effect, according to NYPD statistics. New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, proposed giving judges more discretion to set bail after a series of high-profile shootings in January.

Ms. Hochul offered state legislative leaders a 10-point plan earlier this month that included the bail-law changes. She also proposed expanding a law that allows judges to order mental-health treatment and making it easier to prosecute some gun-related offenses.

“I feel very committed to making sure that we ensure public safety for the state of New York,” Ms. Hochul told reporters last week. “There is an urgency out there.”

The governor met with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Monday, but the trio of Democrats emerged without an agreement, according to aides.

Legislative spokespeople deferred to leaders’ comments last week: Ms. Stewart-Cousins said “nobody in our conference is wanting to go backwards” but was “trying to make sure what we do hits the mark.” Mr. Heastie said that it would be difficult to consider the governor’s proposals so quickly, and that the bail law has been misrepresented in the media.

New York City data show that roughly 5% of people who are released ahead of their trial are rearrested, and about 1% are rearrested for a violent felony, according to an analysis by New York City Comptroller Brad Lander. The percentages remained nearly identical after the state law took effect, Mr. Lander’s report said.

The percentage of people charged with non-violent felonies in New York City who were detained or for whom bail was set dropped to 15% in 2020 from 37% in 2019, according to an analysis by the Center for Court Innovation, a think tank. The overall number of Black and Hispanic people detained pretrial decreased after the law took effect, according to the analysis, though the relative racial disparity of people who were detained before trial increased after the law took effect.

But high-profile offenses allegedly committed by people awaiting trial on other charges seem to have changed public opinion against the law. As many as 56% of voters surveyed this month by the Siena College Research Institute said they believed the law was bad for New York, compared with 38% of respondents who said in 2019 the law would be bad after its enactment.

“There is near-universal agreement that the bail law should be amended to give judicial discretion, while at the same time, a majority are concerned that providing discretion could lead to unjust incarcerations. Good luck, governor and legislators,” poll spokesman Steven Greenberg said.

Supporters and opponents of the bail law descended on the Capitol in Albany this week to make their case in quiet meetings with top officials or loud rallies on the building’s sandstone staircases.

Upstate sheriffs and district attorneys held a news conference Monday calling for a provision that would let judges consider a defendant’s dangerousness when determining if they should be released before trial. The current law has “emboldened criminals,” Assemblyman Michael Reilly, a Republican from Staten Island, said.

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell traveled to the state Capitol on Monday to meet with Ms. Stewart-Cousins and other lawmakers about the issue, officials said. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, issued a statement on Tuesday saying Ms. Hochul’s proposal was balanced and well-reasoned.

Supporters of the existing law chanted “no rollbacks” outside of Ms. Hochul’s office on Tuesday and blocked hallways in the Capitol complex. Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, a Democrat from Brooklyn, said on Wednesday that she was more than a week into a hunger strike to show her commitment to keeping the law intact.

“Let’s stop scapegoating bills and laws that have absolutely nothing to do with the rise in crime within the state of New York,” Ms. Walker told reporters. “I am willing to hold back the budget, if that’s what it takes.”

Write to Jimmy Vielkind at

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page