Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton), Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly, family members of crime victims and law enforcement spoke out today at a press conference calling for the repeal of the bail and pre-trial reforms passed last spring. The assemblyman is a sponsor of the repeal legislation, A.8855, which was unveiled today. Since the bail changes have taken effect, numerous reports have shown the great flaw in the so-called reforms which have allowed confessed criminals free to only to be rearrested.
The recent changes to our criminal justice system were done irresponsibly and have put New Yorkers at risk," said Ashby. "Providing a healthy and safe environment is one of the most critical functions of our State and as such, I am hopeful that Gov. Cuomo and my colleagues in the legislature will join me in supporting legislation that will give discretion back to our Judges and set realistic expectations for our District Attorneys and law enforcement officers.
In the first 15 days of 2020, we have seen the real consequences of these reforms. The concerns of law enforcement can no longer be dismissed as fear mongering, this is fact, said DA Donnelly. Criminals are being released and are reoffending. Victims and their families are fearful it is happening. The time is now to get this right.
Two family members of victims were in attendance joining the call for a repeal of the law:
- Jennifer Payne is the mother of Sarah Tombs, who was shot and killed in April 2019 by her live-in boyfriend. The boyfriend who killed Tombs was released last week; and
- Sheila Harris is the aunt of Rosie Osai, who was struck and killed on December 24 by an unlicensed, hit-and-run driver. The individual was released without bail.