STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

A call for action on bail reform laws

Law enforcement, district attorneys, and political representatives are pushing for changes to the bail reform laws.

Posted: Jan 21, 2020 5:53 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2020 6:28 PM

UTICA - The bail reform laws passed in the state budget are causing concern in communities across New York State.

Sen. Joe Griffo is spearheading efforts for change. 

"We’re seeing some Democratic legislators now calling for bail reform, particularly in the Senate, and this is in my opinion just lip service because these individuals voted for this, and had an opportunity. They could have joined us two weeks ago, or a week ago, to change this, but refused when they had the opportunity."

The law was passed without any input from law enforcement, district attorneys, or judicial representatives.

Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke briefly about bail reform in Tuesday's state budget address. 

"You make a change in a system. It has consequences, and you have to understand those consequences. We need to respond to the facts, but not the politics."

The issue may sound purely political, but the victims are starting to stack up, and there’s no justice in sight. Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara talked about the problems surrounding discovery. 

"Nobody cooperates because of the discovery laws that require us to turn in their name, their address, their grand jury testimony, and their statements over to the defendants 15 days after arrest. No one’s cooperating. Big surprise."

Griffo, a Republican, thinks changes to discovery should also be addressed in the law. 

"There are issues in discovery that are problematic where you’re letting criminals actually have more rights than victims, and you’re not going to have victims come forward because they’re going to say: I don’t want to engage in this process, and that’s not going to be good for trying to hold people accountable for the actions that perpetrate crime."

Utica now has three unsolved homicides, and a very frustrated police chief. Chief Mark Williams explained what his officers are encountering. 

"From a local perspective, what we’re seeing… my officers are seeing on the street, which is very discouraging is that a lot of the gun offenders that we are arresting… they’re being released shortly thereafter, and their names are reappearing in other shootings."

Griffo believes a realistic goal is to pass a Senate bill that allows courts to make an appropriate risk assessment based upon an individual’s previous criminal history.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 364965

Reported Deaths: 29484
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City19996821362
Nassau400342137
Suffolk392581861
Westchester331861352
Rockland13047626
Orange10292443
Erie5810504
Dutchess3847138
Monroe2791198
Onondaga2033127
Albany179676
Ulster164574
Sullivan134030
Putnam122758
Niagara97263
Oneida92946
Schenectady67329
Broome52844
Rensselaer46628
Saratoga46511
Columbia38032
Madison31010
Warren25226
Steuben24141
Greene23118
Washington22813
Orleans21033
St. Lawrence2002
Fulton19818
Ontario1989
Genesee1954
Tompkins1550
Chemung1361
Chenango1250
Tioga12421
Livingston1187
Wayne1103
Herkimer1053
Oswego1053
Clinton954
Montgomery824
Wyoming825
Cattaraugus820
Cayuga801
Chautauqua784
Delaware784
Jefferson720
Otsego695
Seneca550
Schoharie490
Allegany450
Yates396
Cortland390
Essex360
Lewis200
Franklin200
Schuyler110
Hamilton50
Unassigned00
Utica
Overcast
78° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 80°
Oneonta
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 71°
Herkimer
Overcast
78° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 80°
Thendara
Overcast
78° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 80°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
Menu 2 Go list of takeout dinners & fish fries
Apply to Go the Distance 2020
23 courses for only $79.99