Malliotakis: Shootings Soar as Criminals with Guns Are Released with No Bail and That's "Dead Wrong"
In the wake of a weekend riddled with gun violence that left 11 dead, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref-Brooklyn, Staten Island) is focusing on why judges are being forced to release those who commit gun crimes back onto the streets as they await trial. Malliotakis fought for and was able to achieve some fixes to the dangerous bail reform law that took effect on January 1, 2020. The initial fixes were passed by the state legislature in April and took effect last week but Malliotakis argues they do not go far enough, and more rollbacks are needed to ensure public safety.
Crimes still eligible for immediate and automatic release under the bail reform law include:
- Criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon (class D felony)
- Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree (class A misdemeanor)
- Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree (class D felony)
Murder in New York City is up 50% this week compared to the same period last year. Further, the number of shooting victims has tripled over the past month as compared to last year and the horrific 205 shootings we witnessed in June were the highest for the month since 1996. We have returned to the bad old days, said Malliotakis. While the bail reform fixes added criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds back onto the list of crimes for which a judge has discretion to set bail, the fact that three crimes involving unlawful possession and purchase of firearms are still automatic releases is absurd and obviously dangerous. Additionally, those arrested in shootings are often found to have prior criminal history. They may have been released back on the street following a robbery, burglary, or assault providing them with an opportunity to commit their next crime with an illegal firearm or weapon. New York City has devolved into the Wild West, and this lawlessness must be attributed to the misguided policies of Mayor de Blasio and the dangerous bail law passed by solely by Majority politicians last year.
It's not just New York City. Since the broken bail law took effect in April, other New York cities have experienced increases in crime and shootings as well including Rochester, which saw a 67% increase in the month of June compared to 2019 and Albany saw a 379% increase in shooting victims this year overall. Burglaries and robberies have also increased dramatically and those arrested are automatically released without a judges ability to set bail.