New York State Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs sided with Mayor Eric Adams over government leader Kathy Hochul and legislative leaders by calling for a solution to the controversial bail bill reform.
Jacobs, who is also the Democratic leader of Nassau County, told The Post that he agrees with Adams that judges should be given the freedom to detain pending trial suspects previously convicted of serious or violent crimes — the so-called “dangerous” standard currently missing from the state bail law.
“I think changes are needed to the bail law,” Jacobs said.
“I am in favor of giving judges greater discretion in cases, especially where the suspect has a background of committing serious or violent crimes. To me, that’s common sense.”
New York first amended its bail law in 2019 and amended it a year later by prohibiting judges from setting bail for most felony and non-violent crimes.
Jabob’s call for judicial discretion for defendants with violent histories places him at odds with Hochul, as well as Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Speaker of Parliament Carl Heastie, who last week said they opposed changes to the bail law and claimed no evidence is to justify amendments.
“I will absolutely support the fundamental premise of why we needed bail reform in the first place,” Hochul said last week.
“If reforms are needed based on data that is still being collected, I’m willing to have those conversations, so I don’t feel like people, for political reasons, want me to answer, that’s not how I work. I don’t give in to pressure. I do what is right based on all the facts that come before me.”
A spokesperson on Sunday referred to The Post’s comments made last week by Hochul indicating that she has not closed the door on amending the bail reform.
“As I’ve said from the start, there are opportunities to have these talks with the mayor, as well as the legislature as the session progresses on any reforms to be recommended,” the governor said.
Heastie said sarcastically, “Can we stop blaming bail reform when the sun is out?”
Meanwhile, Senator Diane Savino (D-SI/Brooklyn), who attended Detective Jason Rivera’s funeral mass Friday, said his widow’s riveting eulogy will influence public opinion and therefore put pressure on the Democrat-led legislature to pro-security. legislation.
“Even though you won’t be here anymore, I want you to live through me. This system is failing us. We are no longer safe, not even the members of the service,” widow Dominique Luzuriaga told mourners in St. Patrick’s Cathedral as they gave her a standing ovation.
“I know you were tired of these laws, especially the new DA’s,” she continued, referring to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg who unveiled forward-thinking new policies that critics have labeled as too soft on crime. “I hope he sees you talking through me now.”
“There’s going to be a course correction because people want something done about the increase in crime,” Savino said.
She said the bail law is a “confusing mess and suggested abolishing bail entirely and introducing something that gives judges discretion.”
She also supports Adam’s call for an amendment to the Raise the Age law, which treats 16 and 17-year-olds accused of crimes as minors to be dealt with by the family court rather than the criminal court.
“Firearms charges shouldn’t go to family court,” Savino said, echoing Adams’s point of view.
A veteran Albany insider said Jacobs’ support for giving judges more discretion in bail decisions will cover other mainstream Democrats to publicly back pro-security amendments to the bail bill — and for Hochul to seek compromise.
The source said it is unlikely that Jacobs would make such a sensitive matter public without sending it through the governor.
Jacobs, who was named state party leader by former Governor Andrew Cuomo, was one of the first Democrats to support Hochul’s full-term election.
One of Hochul’s rivals in the Democratic primary, Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi, also supports Mayor Adams’ stance on bail reform and has reprimanded Hochul for failing to do so.
Coincidentally, several Democratic state senators from Long Island also told The Post that they favor greater judicial discretion to detain defendants with a history of violent crimes — so they don’t commit more while on release.
“I fully support the mayor’s recommendations to change the state’s bail law. I have long believed — and as one prosecutor in the federal criminal justice system did in this way — that it is logical and appropriate to allow judges to consider a defendant’s dangerousness in determining bail,” he said. Senator Todd Kaminsky (D-Nassau).
“New York is one of the few states that inexplicably doesn’t allow this and it’s time for a change. I am convinced that we can create a system that adds a standard of danger, but is also fair and transparent. I look forward to working with both the mayor and my colleagues in Albany to make these vital changes happen.”
Kaminsky, a former corruption prosecutor at the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, lost his bid to become the Nassau DA last year after his Republican opponent and now DA Anne Donnelly attacked him for voting for bail reform that would allow bail and detention for most crimes. eliminated.
Long Island Democratic State Senator Jim Gaughran said, “I’ve always preferred to give judges more discretion. We also need to tackle addiction and mental health and related issues and tackle the root causes of crime.”