Clearly New York’s ultra-progressive chief executives have arrived at the same place on the state’s absurd new arrest-and-release bail law: Scorched in the press, they now say change definitely is in order.
“There’s no doubt that this is a work in progress,” says the governor who proudly signed the bail bill into law. “Changing the system is complicated.”
De Blasio took a more direct approach last week, standing the new law on its head to remove an alleged violent anti-Semite from the streets.
And while it seems that he acted mostly from fear of bad publicity, let’s hear a hearty one cheer for the Big Apple’s lovable lug of a former presidential candidate anyway.
Now the mayor says he will help fix the law itself: “We are going to go to Albany once again asking the Legislature to improve that bill.”
Well, maybe. He has a pretty short attention span.
But there is no doubt that drastic change is necessary before somebody gets killed — a likely progression now that bail has been abolished for all misdemeanor charges and judges have lost critical discretion in isolating dangerous defendants….
…And as disturbing as the bail changes seem, worse is on the way: Revisions in discovery procedure mean that defendants now free on no-bail will be told where key witnesses against them live; it takes little imagination to see where that will lead: Look for witness shortages, one way or another.
For certain, none of this is going to make for safer streets. Quite the contrary, and especially not in largely minority neighborhoods, where most violent crime occurs and where most victims live. This is ironic, given that the premise of the reform was to buffer minority New Yorkers against a supposedly unfair justice system.