Oneida County DA fears crime rates will rise after bail reform laws take effect

New York State passed a no bail law that will take effect on January 1st.

Posted: Oct 23, 2019 6:06 PM
Updated: Oct 24, 2019 2:02 PM

The no bail laws that are soon to take effect will be presenting the prosecution with a number of obstacles. One of the biggest would be complying with a 15-day deadline to produce all evidence against an accused. That means everything from body cam video, 911 recordings, police reports, even lab results which typically take much longer to produce. Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara isn't happy about a number of issues with the new laws. 

"There’s these built in land mines that are going to get these people released on technicalities or prevent us from in court presenting a full case. We’re going to not be able to present certain evidence, and I fear that we’re going to see crime rate go up and we’re going to see conviction rates go down," said McNamara.

For many of the cases, people still need to be fingerprinted, and have a mug shot taken…the only difference is, suspects will get an appearance ticket instead of going to jail. That includes most drug charges, burglary’s, and even robberies. Discovery will also be applied to the thousands of traffic tickets, which will realistically overwhelm the prosecution. Many inmates that are receiving drug treatments will be set free, and that includes help for mental health. Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol feels it's serving as an injustice for those who are benefiting from the help they're recieving in jail. 

"There’s nothing I can do about it. There’s nothing I can do about it other than hopefully with enough public outcry, maybe some amendments can be made to this," said Maciol. "I don’t know, but we don’t know what’s going to happen. I mean we’re going to find out real soon and I just…I just…I truly hope nothing tragic happens as a result of this, but I’m not feeling really good about it."

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