The leaders of the state legislature are immediately pouring cold water on Mayor Eric Adams’ request for adjustments to the disastrous criminal justice reforms imposed in recent years, and Governor Kathy Hochul, in effect, says she will not fight the issue. . Yet their objections are: ridiculous.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) complains of “misinformation” and told Adams to “review and improve the pre-trial services in the probation department that he oversees,” as if that’s the problem. (Not that Heastie has committed to adequate government funding for those state-mandated services two years later.)
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) says it would disproportionately affect “black and brown and poor defendants” if judges impose prison terms on suspects they consider clearly dangerous. Does she really believe that New York judges are a bunch of racists? And: Crime victims in this state are also disproportionately “”black and brown and poor” – why do legislators never worry about them?
At another request from Adams, to have gun cases involving less-cooperative minors go to criminal court, Stewart-Cousins insists that “data” and “science” lead young teens to be sent to family court instead. What about the data on the rising number of shootings involving teens?
Hochul similarly argues that she should review the data before making a decision. Well, here’s some data: the statistics of suspects arrested in the first two months for crimes under their “fixed” no-bail law (July 1, 2020 to August 30, 2020), as ex-prosecutor Jim Quinn did for The Post .
In those two months, New York City saw 3,680 defendants charged with felonies, two-thirds (2,564) of whom had a previous or pending case at the time of arrest. And court records show that 31% of the 2,564 were re-arrested before their case was settled, with many more arrested pending sentencing or after sentencing.
Below the pre-reform Under the law, bail was rarely set for first-time non-violent offenders or those charged with a range of felony offenses. Yet status quo defenders pretend that giving discretion to judges will somehow endanger such people.
Again, the vast majority of crime victims are other people of color. They and their neighbors deserve the peace of mind knowing that the local threats will be off the streets pending their trial.
President Joe Biden called Adams Monday evening to offer his “firm support”. In response, Adams tweeted: “[Biden’s] support will be invaluable to get the job done.”
Now the prez will visit the city next week to talk about combating gun violence. We hope it’s more than a dog-and-pony show with “illegal gun imports.” The mayor should ask Biden to lean on Heastie, ASC and Hochul to make these basic, simple changes.
Get Mayor Adams really back, Mr. President.