Friend: Most New Yorkers Support Judicial Discretion to Address Bail Reform Issues, Legislature Must Act

Assemblyman Christopher Friend (R,C-Big Flats) is calling for the state Legislature to take action to restore judicial discretion in our courts to reverse increasing crime rates created by the 2019 bail reform law. According to a recent Siena College poll, most New Yorkers support reinstating a judge’s ability to hold defendants should they be violent or a general threat to public safety.

“We entrust judges to make wise decisions in our courts, why would it be any different with the holding of defendants, especially those who are a threat to public safety or are known to be violent?” asked Friend. “The majority of New Yorkers support judicial discretion, and the Legislature must not delay any further in supporting its restoration.”

Friend said there are a number of cases where, if judicial discretion were restored, many victims could have been spared. For instance, last year a 77-year-old man from Gloversville, John Lee, was murdered by Thomas Quillan, a criminal who only 36 hours prior was arrested and then released for assaulting another victim. The assemblyman contends that if a judge were able to hold Quillan, Lee would be alive today and with his family.