It may come as a surprise that there are more than 400 offenses, which include felonious acts such as criminally negligent homicide, aggravated assault on a child under 11 and selling drugs on or near school grounds, for which a judge will no longer be allowed to set bail or remand a defendant to custody come January 1. Thanks to a “bail reform” package that was passed up in Albany and signed into law by Gov. Cuomo, people charged with some of the most heinous crimes will be released on their own recognizance to walk among law-abiding taxpayers. Because they don’t want to open the floodgates all at once, some of those who qualify have already been released.
Defendants are required to appear back in court on the date set by the judge. Adding a layer to the stupidity, Mayor de Blasio has decided to persuade those released to come back to court by offering incentives such as gift cards and Mets tickets. So, criminals will actually benefit from their crimes. If all of this isn’t asinine enough, be aware that the NY Post reported, “They’re more likely to walk after trial, too: The ‘reform’ law also gives defense lawyers the right to see all the prosecution evidence, including witness names, within two weeks of arraignment. If prosecutors fail to deliver, the case may collapse. Same if witnesses decide they’re too scared to testify after getting ‘mysterious’ threats.”
When and why did we decide to make our city and state less safe? The late liberal senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan referred to criminal justice permissiveness as “defining deviancy down.” Never before has this phrase held so much meaning.