Times Union: Commentary: Reforms make justice system fairer to New York’s poor

“Equal justice before the law is a cruel myth. In New York’s criminal courts it is better to be guilty and rich than poor and innocent. Under current law, guilty defendants who can afford bail are promptly set free while innocent poor people must sit in jail.

This predicament is being remedied by criminal justice reforms effective Jan. 1, which mandate that people accused of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, rather than being detained because they have no money, must be released pending trial.”

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