State Senate GOP unveils victims’ justice agenda
One proposal calls for repealing new bail and discovery laws
Press Release, State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt
ALBANY, NY – Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and members of the Senate Republican Conference last week unveiled the “Victims’ Justice Agenda,” a package of bills designed to protect crime victims and reverse the troubling rise in violent crime rates throughout New York.
“In 2019, One-Party Rule in Albany started a troubling trend by putting their thumbs on the scales of justice and passing the first of their many criminal justice ‘reforms,’” Ortt said. “Two years later, we’ve seen it over and over again: violent criminals given nothing but comfort, and their victims given nothing but pain. If this wave of violence truly is an emergency, as the Governor recently announced, we must get back to the basics of public safety. That begins by reversing out-of-whack priorities that favor criminals over law-abiding New Yorkers. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in support of our continued initiatives to restore common-sense and public safety in New York.”
The rise of violent crimes in major cities throughout New York this year follows the implementation of Democrats’ dangerous bail and discovery reforms in 2019, the disbanding of the NYPD’s “anti-crime” unit, a billion-dollar cut to New York City police funding, and an overall pro-criminal, anti-police climate fostered under all-Democrat rule.
Senate Republicans’ Victims’ Justice Agenda follows the lawmakers’ push to “Protect Those Who Protect Us” in May, and a Parole Reform package of bills unveiled last month. Safeguarding victims is another critical part of an ongoing criminal justice agenda geared towards restoring common-sense and public safety in New York.
Keynotes of the Victims’ Justice Agenda include:
• S.3842 (Serino) – Adds certain offenses committed by a family member to the list of crimes qualifying for bail. Protects victims of domestic violence by allowing judges more discretion in securing orders in certain cases related to domestic violence.
• S.6290 (Lanza) – Makes hate crimes eligible for bail. Earlier this year, an anti-Semitic synagogue attacker in the Bronx was released without bail, after a judge overturned another court order that defied current bail reform laws.
• S.6153 (Boyle) – Ensures repeat offenders qualify for bail and pre-trial detention when the principal has been convicted of one or more misdemeanor or felony offenses. Earlier this year, an Oswego man was arrested 18 times over the span of four days, on charges ranging from stealing, harassing, resisting arrest, and trespassing. None of the repeat crimes he was charged under were bail eligible, and he was only held with bail after his 18th arrest for burglary and larceny.
• S.4563 (Griffo) – Criminalizes anti-Semitism under state human rights law – in April, it was revealed by the Anti-Defamation League that New York leads the nation in anti-Semitic attacks. Recent demonstrations in New York City have also descended into multiple hateful attacks against members of the Jewish community, in the wake of violent terrorist attacks against Israel and anti-Israel rhetoric by some New York state legislators.
• S.171 (Tedisco) – Authorizes imposition of life imprisonment without parole sentence for persistent violent felony offenders. Persistent felons have three or more felony convictions.
• S.1521 (Tedisco) – Relates to setting bail for defendants who pose a threat to public safety. This bill would provide judges with discretion when setting bail for dangerous defendants.
• S.1523A (Tedisco) – Repeals bail and discovery reform.
• S.2565 (Jordan) – Relates to making a murder as the result of a drive by shooting murder in the first degree. In the wake of the tragic murder of an 11-year-old child from Troy in September 2020, Senator Jordan introduced this bill to strengthen penalties for those who terrorize innocent communities through drive-by shootings.
• S.2277 (Helming) – Relates to requiring health care facilities to report incidents of a sexual offense to the departments of both health and education.
• S.6766 (Serino) – Relates to protecting witnesses in criminal prosecutions from intimidation and threats.
• S.6923 (Lanza) – Strengthens penalties for crimes committed on MTA property, similar to the hate crime statute. Random attacks and a declining quality of life on the New York City subway system have recently deterred many from riding the subway.
Earlier this month, the Governor declared a “disaster emergency on gun violence,” a move that was met with mixed reaction due to his recent record on criminal justice “reforms.” Though it was a long overdue acknowledgment of rising violence in areas throughout the state, the declared emergency does nothing to address Democrats’ recent “reforms” or other pro-criminal, anti-cop policies and rhetoric coming from Albany.
“As a former prosecutor and chair of the Senate Codes Committee, I repeatedly sounded the alarm on what would happen if Albany’s many criminal justice “reforms” were signed into law. A revolving door has been created for those who terrorize our communities. Violent crime has risen to levels not seen in many years. Our first responsibility as public servants is to protect public safety. We can restore common-sense now by enacting this “Victims’ Justice Agenda,”” said Deputy Republican Leader Andrew Lanza.
“As a former State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County, I understand the many challenges facing our law enforcement community. While some changes to our criminal justice system were warranted, we must ensure that safeguards are in place to protect our communities and residents. These so-called reforms favor offenders over law-abiding citizens and have led to a sense of lawlessness, where those perpetrating violent crimes have no fear of being held accountable for their actions. It is time to restore common-sense criminal justice policies,” said Senator Patrick Gallivan.