AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott
During her State of the State Address last week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul revealed that she was open to once again revising her state’s radical bail reform policies – a major concession from one of the staunchest defenders of the 2019 law which eliminated cash bail for most offenses. While Hochul stopped well short of calling for a complete repeal of the legislation, it was the latest sign that so-called “woke justice” may be in retreat in deep-blue New York as crime numbers continue to skyrocket.
Three years ago, following similar moves by other states like New Jersey, California, and Illinois, New York abolished cash bail for all misdemeanors and most felonies, including arson and armed robbery. The law went into effect on January 1, 2020, over the vehement opposition of Republicans and law enforcement groups. At the time of the bill’s passage, New York City Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea expressed grave concern that “individuals are standing before a judge and immediately being released, and essentially everyone in the room knows that this person is a danger to the community.”
Just over three months after the bail law went into effect, violent crime skyrocketed, leading to widespread pushback from New Yorkers, particularly in New York City. Under immense pressure, the legislature passed some reforms to the law, including allowing judges to impose more conditions on pre-trial release of those accused of committing crimes.
But those changes did little to offset the disastrous consequences of the legislation. Over the first full year the law was in place, there were more than 100,000 cases where offenders who would have been held on bail were instead released. In one-fifth of those cases, the offenders were arrested again for a second crime while still awaiting trial for their first offense. Four thousand people released under the law were re-arrested for violent felonies, and several hundred were arrested for firearms-related crimes.
Crime rates continued to climb in 2021, becoming a major issue in elections throughout the state. In November of that year, Republican candidates upset Democratic incumbents in the Suffolk and Nassau County district attorney races amid continued public opposition to the law. Retired Police Captain Eric Adams also won New York City’s mayoral race on a platform of taking a hardline stance against violent crime – a clear rebuke of outgoing mayor Bill de Blasio’s embrace of bail “reform” and other woke criminal justice policies.
In 2022, New York’s crime problem continued to worsen and fomented division among Democrats in the state. Recognizing the political hazard posed by out of control crime, last year Hochul proposed more changes to the state’s bail laws, providing judges increased discretion in detaining criminal defendants.
But once again, the changes were more cosmetic than substantive and did little to alleviate the crime wave. In August, Mayor Adams openly slammed the state’s bail reform policies, even with the recent adjustments, saying that “our criminal justice system is insane.” Three months later in New York’s gubernatorial election, Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin far outperformed expectations and came within a few points of upsetting Hochul, largely on a platform of promising to enact stricter bail reform policies and crack down on violent crime. Zeldin’s performance was crucial in delivering the U.S. House of Representatives to the GOP, as many of the state’s Republican congressional candidates did better than expected and won their races.
No doubt realizing that she and other New York Democrats are still politically vulnerable on crime, last week Hochul called in her State of the State for yet more changes to the bail reform law. In a companion document released in conjunction with the speech, she specifically asked lawmakers to remove the requirement that judges impose the “least restrictive” means of ensuring that defendants return to court when it comes to those accused of serious crimes. In practice, this policy has forced courts to essentially allow violent criminals back onto the streets with almost no assurance that they would actually show up for their assigned court date.
However, Hochul stopped far short of calling for a full repeal of the law, and made no mention of Mayor Adams’s request for judges to be allowed to consider the “dangerousness” of defendants when setting bail – a seemingly common-sense policy. Though woke justice may be in retreat in New York, it is still far from dead.
Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.
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New York is not a free state.
She (hochul) is in my thoughts the “WICKED WITCH OF THE EAST”. And the ignorant governor of the state of MI is the “WICKED WITCH OF THE NORTH” along with the mayor of chicago.”. There are three “WICKED WITCHES OF THE WEST”, governors of CA, OR, and the state of WA where I came from. I have picked no WICKED WITCHES of the south yet although there many mayors to choose from. I am so sickened by what I see happening in this country and I truly believe that Mr. Abbot has hit the proverbial nail on the HEAD! So if comcast and xfinity want to kick me off again this 82 year old lady with years of experience working over seas in health care they can try to silence me again. They will never take away my memories of working in places where the people were FORCED to succumb to tyrants. Thankyou Mr. Abbott for writing as clearly as Mr. Charles. Carol
Moronic, you would subject citizens and visitors to dangerous people.
OLD SAYING: ” Do not do the crime if you cannot do the time”. A slap on the wrist is only encouraging people to break the law cuz the punishment is not severe & equal to the crime.
I just do not understand why this twit wants to ruin her city, state and country. She is an imbecile!
If only the criminals would commit all their crimes against her and her property.
The only way these Democrats will change their minds on these defund the cops ideas, no bail, turn criminals lose, nothing is a crime, is if they suffer a horrific crime, including loss of loved ones or a big time monetary loss. Anyone with any sense knows what they are doing will not work. Which you then decide why? Easy answer is make the average Joe take the law into their own hands then profess there are too many people getting shot even though it’s the criminals getting shot because they won’t let cops do their jobs. Then you declare Marshall law and confiscate everyone’s guns. Then socialism is easy to implement. The problem with that is no one will give up their guns then the Civil war starts and then you will see millions getting killed. And if you think it out or look at history first you get rid of the leaders promoting socialism then you get rid of the people that vote for those leaders. And remember the people that want to get rid of guns are the ones planning on doing something that you need a gun for!
A theif is a theif. Kyle L.
This woman is the most asinine person I’ve heard speak in quite a while. Why in Blue Blazes does a governor have a national agenda? The intelligence of the citizens of New York has not recently impressed me. Apologies to the Fox News people who live there.
You should really say “citizens of New York CITY.” I think upstaters probably have a lot more sense than the city dwellers!
Most of us do, unfortunately we have a few upstate cities/counties that are liberal infected.
Gov. Hochul is sort of taking back her comment about more right leaning people to leave NYS, but then has stupid ideas/ edicts about getting rid of paper bags ( I’ve seen shoppers leaving items on the checkout counter & walk out because of no shopping bags) also the democrat idea of no gas stoves. Then wonder why many are leaving. We don’t need the government to run our lives, many of us have done quite well on our own.
New York is as bad as California. I wouldn’t live in either democrat state.
I say let Democrats destroy themselves with their unproven, ridiculous, and destructive version of justice. When they’re completely gone and sane people are again restored to positions of responsibility, life can then begin again. COMPLETELY and TOTALLY absent of criminals!
We can’t let them get too far with this coddle-the-criminal crap because I think they will try to use the unrest as a reason to confiscate firearms. I know why that is unconstitutional, but that won’t stop their attempt to use martial law.
We can only hope. How I long for the days when it was safe to go shopping, take a walk, go to school without a worry. So glad I grew up in the 1960s.
The speech last week by Governor Hochul was merely political theater. Some sound bites for the cameras to show she is “tough on crime” without actually doing anything of substance to change things. Hochul is still the Progressive Democrat she has always been. She has no intention of pushing the New York State Legislature to either modify or outright repeal the disastrous bail reform laws that were enacted three years ago.
Stop expecting Democrat politicians to “see the light” or “wake up” and realize the destructive nature of the policies they promote and implement, when given the chance. They know full well what they are doing every single step of the way.
You are a pathological liar.
Really? No, Paul is speaking the truth!
Notice this twit says the same thing every time. Either
STUPID or a BOT.
He is precisely correct, and you are a deluded fool.
Just remember that this character is one person using different handles who just wants attention.
All part of their sick pathetic plan. Lock step with Soros’ commands. Give ’em money and they will do whatever he wants to be done next…