Does this ring a familiar bell? This was the now infamous statement from Speaker Pelosi regarding the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. That bill was over 2,000 pages long, and practically nobody knew an inkling of what the bill contained. Fast-forward to April 2019, and with all expected transparency we’ve come to expect from our New York State Legislature, about twenty pages of our 266 page NYS Budget for 2020 contain all of the changes to New York’s Criminal Procedure Law (CPL). The problem is that those twenty pages begin around page 112.
Should you want to take the time to locate this information and read it for yourself, you can find it online at https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/s1509. Personally, this is the first time I have downloaded the entire pdf file of the NYS Budget, but I wanted to see for myself how this debacle we call bail reform could have happened without public knowledge. I believe I now have a little more insight into the process after consulting and conversing with several people who are closer to the issue, and this list includes judges, elected officials whom I trust, and law enforcement officers entrusted with carrying out the terms of these laws.
After seeing many reports in print and other media, I am appalled that the public safety has been compromised so completely that I’m not so sure that we can use the statement rule of law in good conscience. Under the guise of humanity and fairness, our liberal lawmakers are following in the footsteps of the likes of AOC, that ‘brilliant’ new voice for the people, and erasing all of the progress we have made since our Constitution was ratified and destroying our legal system and the protections it provides the general population.
One of the most blatant violations concerns an MS-13 gang member who was arrested for murder. Because the requirements of the law allowed his attorney to get the personal information about his accusers, one of the witnesses was killed, and the other two refuse to testify after drive-by shootings. And this is only one example. Many of those who have been released in their own recognizance have gone out and committed the same crime one or more times immediately upon their release. Some of them have even said they cannot believe that they were released. This cannot continue.
Senator James Tedisco (R,C,I, REF-Glenville) has proposed NYS Senate Bill S6861 to reform the new bail reform law and CPL. There is an identical bill in the Assembly. He represents the 49th SD just north-west of Albany.
While I applaud his efforts, my considered opinion is that this is simply a band-aid placed on a festering wound. The correct solution is to return our CPL to its prior status, and then do a risk v. benefit analysis to determine the collateral effects of any changes. Our first responders are on the front lines protecting us from criminals, and our courts are charged with enforcing our penal codes. I stand with law enforcement on this issue and believe it is high time to untie their hands and return public interest and public safety to our streets and villages. I also hope that my fellow voters will take the time to follow the paper trail and elect representatives to replace those who hid this bill in the middle of the budget and gave us only danger in return for their election.
Let’s let our representatives know exactly where we stand. Like the line from the movie Network says, “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” When will you be as angry as I? The time is now!
New Hyde Park