Republicans should try to address causes of crime and not use scare tactics

Posted 13 February 2022 at 10:50 am


Republican leaders are using New York’s bail reform law to scare up votes. They claim that the increase in crime is directly related to bail reform law.

However, crime is up all across the country including in places that have no bail reform laws. Thus the connection between bail reform and crime is tenuous at best. Let’s be clear, bail is something of value that an arrested person gives to the court to ensure a future court appearance.

People with means can get out of jail quickly while those without means sit in jail awaiting trial. Republicans would have to argue that those accused of a crime, before conviction, must be locked up for their argument to have merit. For example Harvey Weinstein paid $1 million in bond and was set free awaiting trial. Matthew Beddingfield was out on bail for attempted murder when he assaulted officers at the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The New York Bail Reform law is an attempt to provide fairness to the judicial system so that there is not one set of rules that applies to those with financial means and another set of rules that applies to those without financial means.

The cause of crime is complex and the solutions to the rise in crime will probably also be complex. Republican leaders, if they wanted to reduce crime, would seek to understand the causes of crime. Instead, they want a campaign sound bite that can scare up voters.

William Fine