MAYVILLE – A renewed push is underway to fix the revolving door of New York’s criminal justice system. The effort was highlighted, along with real life examples of the “broken system”, on Friday.
“Tuesday of this week, three days ago, we did a substantial hit on a drug house in our city that was a major supplier of cocaine and heroin operation, the bad guys were back at the house, two of them, on Tuesday night, the third on Wednesday,” explained City of Dunkirk Police Chief Dave Ortolano, who blames the revolving door of the criminal justice system on New York’s bail reform.
State Senator Gorge Borrello, Assemblyman Andy Goodell and the several others from local law enforcement have petitioned for changes to the 2019 law for months now.
“You are already starting to see prominent Democrats who are on the front line of this fight, and see first-hand the devastating consequences of that misguided legislation, who are now willing to step up and start to push pressure on their own members to change the law,” said Goodell. “Including New York City Mayor Adams and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.”
The devastating consequences of bail reform, the group says, hurts victims first and foremost.
“These are people that, after summoning the courage to call the police, put themselves out on the line get rewarded by seeing the person who is charged with the crime, because they had the courage, back out on the street,” explained Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt.
Among the points discussed, is victim’s trust in the system, and how it is starting to wane.
They don’t want to cooperate with authorities, they don’t feel very protected by the laws, they don’t have any opportunity or recourse available to them, they don’t have any of the constitutional protects that the defendants are afforded,” continued DA Schmidt.
So how do we fix the problems? Both the Assemblyman and Senator say returning judicial discretion is the first step. However, they need support from the Democratic caucus to get the job done.
“Most of my colleagues, on the other side of the isle, they don’t want to talk about this, they don’t want to go on the floor of the Senate and Assembly, and defend the horrific results of this, they would rather just squelch it,” explained Borrello. “That’s why it’s a problem, because this bill, which has every right in my opinion to see the light of day, will not in my colleagues on the other side of the isle, who control the process, have their way.”
Borrello says he won’t let the partisanship get in the way.
“We each have the opportunity to force a vote in committee, we intend to do that, and then they (all lawmakers in the committee) they’ve gotta raise their hand to say whether they support it, or don’t,” said Senator Borrello.
What’s next? Senator Borrello is urging those all across New York to petition their Senate and Assembly members and ask them where they stand, on reforming bail reform.