Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) joined Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt, members of the Minority Conferences and law enforcement professionals on Tuesday to advocate for greater public safety measures. Crime in New York state has been spiking since 2019 when Albany Majority lawmakers passed ‘bail reform.’ Minority lawmakers have introduced the ‘Restore Order Anti-Crime Initiative’ todirectly address failed and dangerous policies of the past.
Minority members presented the following statistics at their press conference:
- In Albany, those killed by gun violence has increased 700 percent;
- In Rochester, those killed by gun violence has increased 174 percent;
- Shootings in NYC are up over 100 percent;
- Statewide, shooting incidents and victims are up at least 42 percent in each of the five major cities;
- Statewide in 2020, 21 percent of defendants arraigned on felony charges were rearrested for a new crime following pre-trial release; and
- Nearly 50% of all offenders in New York City who are out on bail are re-offending
“Law enforcement officials across the state are sounding the alarm on our criminal justice reform measures. Violent offenders are being put back on our streets where they are often re-offending. Many citizens no longer feel safe in their communities; we must do better for our neighbors, crime victims and their families and the brave men and women of law enforcement who are on the front lines and make public safety an absolute priority for the people of New York State.
“Our Restore Order package is crucial to curbing this violence. This legislation would restore judicial discretion in regard to bail, stopping the revolving door of criminals being processed and released with no accountability. The legislation also requires a unanimous parole board vote when it comes to granting an inmate early release,” said Palmesano.
Assembly Minority will continue to advance the ‘Restore Order Package’ along with other critical public safety measures, including:
- Restoring Judicial Discretion (A.5265, Reilly) – Restoring judicial discretion to allow judges the ability to determine whether a violent criminal poses a dangerous threat to the community and can be held without bail.
- Bail for Gun Crimes (A.7066, Barclay) – Removing all gun crimes from the no-bail list of offenses established in 2019.
- Parole Reform (A.5737, Barclay) – Requiring a unanimous vote of at least three parole commissioners to grant a prisoner early release, and allowing a majority vote of the Legislature to remove a commissioner from the Parole Board.
- Three Strikes & You’re In (A.5334, Brabenec) – Authorizing life in prison without parole for persistent violent felony offenders.
- Shooting Into Crowds (A.4259, Jensen) – Making it a Class B violent felony to fire into a crowded space with the intent to harm.
- Additional 5 Years for Possession (A.4762, Mikulin) – Providing for an additional 5-year term of imprisonment for committing a felony while possessing a loaded firearm.
- Bail for Hate Crimes (A.3986, M. Miller) – Making a hate crime a qualified offense for purposes of bail issuance and denying pre-trial.
- Paula’s Law (A.6017, Lawler) – Preventing the parole of anyone who sexually assaults and murders a child under 18 years of age.
- Ramona’s Law (A.8382, J.M. Giglio)- Extending the maximum number of months, from twenty four to sixty, as the time within which the Parole Board must set for reconsideration of a denied application for parole in cases where an inmate was sentenced for a specified violent felony offense.
- Bail Reform Repeal (A.6963-A, Brabenec) – Repealing bail reforms and other criminal justice reforms enacted in Chapters 55 and 59 of the Laws of 2019 and Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2020 and restore prior language.
- Judicial Discretion for Additional Crimes (A.7772, Lawler) – Adding any crime resulting in death or physical injury to the list of qualifying offenses which allows a judge to impose bail or deny pretrial release, including previously carved-out violent felony crimes.
- Risk Assessment (A.6933, Tannousis) – Restoring judicial discretion relating to bail reform, and providing that when the defendant is charged with a felony, the court shall request of the applicable county pretrial services agency that a risk and needs assessment be conducted.
“With common-sense, but important reforms we can rein in the scourge of violent crime across our state. For too long, the Majority in Albany has passed policies that have favored dangerous criminals at the expense of crime victims and their families, those in law enforcement and public safety. We can see its ripple effects as Manhattan’s new district attorney has pledged to prosecute as few people as possible, even for dangerous crimes such as robbery, drug dealing and trafficking, resisting arrest and vowing to never seek a sentence more than 20 years or life without parole, no matter how heinous the murder. This is wrong and flies in the face of the rule of law and common sense.
“I will continue to stand with and advocate on behalf of our crime victims and their families, the brave men and women of law enforcement and for increased public safety. We need to Restore Order, repeal bail reform and enforce the rule of law to protect our families and local communities from violent crime,” concluded Palmesano.