New poll shows declining support for bail reform

A new Siena College poll released Tuesday found declining support for recent changes to New York's bail law.

Posted: Jan 21, 2020 12:07 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2020 1:12 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A new Siena College poll released Tuesday found declining support for recent changes to New York's bail law. The new law eliminates money bail for the wide majority of misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.

But it has come under intense scrutiny as courts have released people who would have remained in jail under the old rules. The bail reforms went into effect at the beginning of the year.

The poll found that 49 percent of respondents said the changes were bad for New York while 37 percent said they were good for the Empire State.

At a news conference Tuesday, Sen. Joseph Griffo, and members of law enforcement, pushed for bail reform changes citing serious concerns with repeat offenders who were released when the changes went into effect.

“So far, we’ve seen a person charged with manslaughter, the driver in a fatal hit and run and a drunk driver in an accident that killed a pedestrian all set free without paying bail. That’s only a few of the highest profile cases, and only since the beginning of the year. Frankly, the amount of dangerous individuals set free through these reforms is terrifying and I believe poses a real risk to public safety,” said Griffo.

He also went on to criticize Democratic senators who supported the bail reform, saying, "The fact that they now want to see changes is lip service in an attempt to appear that they are listening to their constituents. The motivation of these Senators is more centered on their own political future than the safety of their communities.”

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