City and State: Advocates: Don’t make changes to the state’s new bail law

“A coalition of 60 criminal justice reform groups are sending an open letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders demanding that they don’t change the state’s newly enacted law limiting the use of cash bail.

“Make no mistake,” the letter reads, in part, “retreating from bail reform less than a week after it goes into effect because of predictable fearmongering will be a retreat from New York’s position as a leader in criminal justice reform and will embolden opponents who prefer the status quo.”

Signatories to the letter include the New York Civil Liberties Union,, the Working Families Party and dozens of other groups that supported the pretrial reforms which passed as part of the state budget in April. But opponents became highly vocal before the law went into effect on Jan. 1, with Republicans, moderate Democrats, and prosecutors and judges of both parties saying it would make New York less safe. They’ve called for a repeal of the law, or at least changes to allow more defendants to be jailed pretrial, and the state’s top leaders have been listening. Cuomo and state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins have both said they would be open to reexamining the law. But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie appears to be standing firmly behind the law as it was passed.”

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