In a letter sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul Monday, the six GOP House Representatives. — John Katko, Elise Stefanik, Nicole Malliotakis, Claudia Tenney, Andrew Garbarino and Chris Jacobs — mentioned the Democratic mayor’s objections to eliminating cash bail for “dangerous” criminal defendants with lengthy rap sheets.
The sextet cited the rearrests of criminal defendants sprung pending trial in their letter to Democrat Hochul.
“Considering that rearrest rates are even worse in New York City, it is unsurprising that newly-elected Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell have both previously identified reforms to New York’s bail laws as a key component to making the city safe,” the congress members wrote Hochul.
“They are not alone, with a growing, bipartisan chorus of lawmakers from across New York calling for the state legislature to prioritize public safety over irresponsible policies put forward by the far left.
“Specifically, many have identified the necessity of providing judges with enhanced discretion to determine whether an individual poses a risk to public safety when making bail or pretrial release determinations.”
The congress members also mentioned their federal legislative proposal — the Stop Enabling Repeat Violence and Endangering (SERVE) Our Communities Act — that would provide $10 million a year in anti-recidivism funding for states that have a law on the books that allows a judge to consider the danger an individual poses to the community when determining bail or pretrial release conditions.
That is a standard supported by Adams.
“It is past time for your Administration to take the lead and call on the state legislature to make common-sense reforms to ensure public safety. We recognize the tragic
toll this law has taken on countless families across New York, as well as on our law enforcement community, and we stand ready to support reform efforts that prioritize public safety at the federal level,” they wrote.
“We respectfully request that you immediately begin working with the state legislature to advance a standard for New York State that provides judges with the necessary discretion to limit the release of individuals who pose a danger to our community.”
Malliotakis, who is the only House Republican from the city, representing Staten Island and southern Brooklyn, also put out her own statement on Adams’ blueprint to crack down on illegal guns and violent crime.
The congresswoman said she was “pleased” Adams is taking action to reinstate a unit to specifically go after gangs and gun violence in the city, add more cops to patrol subways, and seek changes to the “disastrous bail law and the ‘Raise the Age’ law that has become more like a gang recruitment act.” The latter law treats 16- and-17- year-olds as juveniles for serious crimes.
Malliotakis said more needs to be done to aid people roaming the streets who are severely mentally ill.
Public furor over the spike in violent crime reached a fever pitch after police officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora were shot and killed during an ambush while responding to a domestic violence call in Harlem Friday.
Adams is facing more resistance from fellow Democrats in the state Legislature than Republicans in pushing for stiffer crime-fighting laws.
Senate Deputy Major Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) said the law approved in 2019 eliminating cash bail for many non-violent crimes is working, noting the data show only two percent of defendants who are released pending trial for “non-bail crimes” are rearrested for serious offenses.
“I don’t know why we would take something that the real data shows is working and giving in to demagoguery – not saying the mayor is, but over the last couple of months that’s what’s been said,” Gianaris said on NY1 Monday.
Hochul had no immediate comment.
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