Sometimes, good intentions can have bad
It is true there have been New Yorkers, stuck in jail, for minor, non-violent infractions, awaiting trial, who were locked in jail, simply because they didn’t have the money to make bail. That’s both, unfair and unconstitutional.
So, I understand the need for bail reform, but I don’t understand why New York had to reinvent the wheel so poorly when other states charted much better paths forward.
In neighboring New Jersey, they did bail reform right. People arrested in New Jersey, just like in New York, are innocent until proven guilty, and are brought before a judge to determine whether they should be held or released pending trial. Judges in New Jersey are permitted to take into account the risks to the community in releasing defendants, assessing “dangerousness.” That has been illegal in New York for over 40 years, and it is illegal today, even after the recently passed “fixes” to bail reform.
Releasing nearly everybody without judges having a say, even when accused of heinous crimes like domestic violence, was a mistake. Judges should have the discretion to hold people who have shown to be dangerous or a flight risk, while those accused of nonviolent crimes or who have no history of violence should be released on their own recognizance, including with a GPS ankle bracelet if the court deems proper. It’s common sense.