In April of this year, the Democrat controlled Assembly and Senate passed sweeping criminal justice legislation, strictly curtailing the use of cash bail and pretrial detention, overhauling rules governing the sharing of evidence, and strengthening measures intended to ensure a defendant’s right to a speedy trial.
In New York City, 43 percent of the almost 5,000 people detained pretrial on April 1, 2019 would have been released under the new legislation. Outside of New York City, the effects could be even greater.
Of the almost 205,000 criminal cases arraigned in New York City in 2018, only 10 percent would have been eligible for money bail under the new law.
Under the new New York State laws going into effect as of January 1st, what was once common practice by police agencies, most serious Drug, Sex, Bribery, Manslaughter and Assault arrests, will garner only appearance tickets for defendants. Gone are the days when a defendant appeared before a judge for arraignment who determined if the defendant was a possible threat to society.
According to Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts, the new regulations will also create a nightmare for police, especially in Upstate New York, requiring faster submission of paperwork, technical and paperwork/electronic duplications and in some cases allowing defendants to view crime scenes, putting victims under more stress.