Utica Common Council to send resolution to state legislature to amend bail reform laws

In a 7-2 vote, the Utica Common Council passed a resolution urging New York State to amend the new bail reform laws. The resolution will be forwarded to state and local officials.

Posted: Mar 4, 2020 11:26 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2020 11:08 AM

UTICA, N.Y. - In a 7-2 vote, the Utica Common Council passed a resolution urging New York State to amend the new bail reform laws. The resolution will be forwarded to state and local officials.

The resolution is asking the state legislature to look at the bail reform laws, and consider giving judges more discretion when it comes to setting bail and work with law enforcement and district attorneys to make positive, effective changes.

Several community members spoke during the public comment period about why they believe it is not appropriate for the Utica Common Council to ask for amendments to the bail reform legislation.

Two council members voted against the legislation because they believe the new laws were put into place for the right reason, and everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

Councilman Devlin Moody who represents the 5th ward and Celeste Friend who represents the 3rd ward were the two members that voted against the legislation.

"Every single one of these crimes listed in this resolution, people have always been released, middle class, wealthy people were released on bail and where was the outrage then about all of the dangerous people being put back out on the street," Friend said.

Some council members, like Jack LoMedico, say changing the bail reform legislation is important to Utica and New York State as a whole because the new laws put people and communities across the state in danger.

"The issue here, it impacts past, present, and future victims of crime in a negative manor and in doing so, the bail and discovery forms adopted by the state of New York will further victimize innocent victims," LoMedico said.

The council also voted to include a vote record with who voted for and against this resolution when it gets sent to the state legislature.

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