Thursday, 16 March 2023 11:57

Fulton Passes Resolution Redommending Revisions to NYS Bail Reform

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City of Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels City of Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels Submitted photo

Recently, the City of Fulton Common Council approved a resolution recommending several revisions to NYS Bail Reform, it was announced by Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels.

“The sweeping changes to NY State bail laws in 2019 that essentially eliminated cash bail for many specific crimes and imposed stringent discovery mandates on police and prosecutors, is not doing what it was intended to do,” Michaels said. “Instead, it has placed an inordinate burden upon law enforcement officials and prosecutors while creating potential danger, health and safety risks to the public when defendants are so easily reinserted into a community.”

The resolution, which was also shared with Governor Hochul, Senator John Mannion (50th District), and Assemblyman Will Barclay (120th District), recommends three amendments to the law.

First, it seeks to restore the discretion of local judges to set bail “in a manner that takes into consideration all of the relevant factors in a given case, not just the risk of flight by the accused.” Second, by extending the time of discovery in a criminal case from 20 or 35 days to 45 days from the date of arraignment, law enforcement and prosecutors will receive relief from the unnecessary burden they are currently experiencing in preparing voluminous trial-related materials. Third, the resolution seeks additional aid to local communities “to reimburse local government for the additional staff that has been required to meet the demands of the new discovery statutes.”

Fulton First Ward Councilman Dan Farfaglia applauded the city’s action: " The first responsibility of any government entity is to protect their citizens. I know what Bail Reform was supposed to do. Unfortunately, there has been widespread unintended consequences, all across this state. This has made it difficult for law enforcement to do their jobs and keep the public safe. Albany has had plenty of time to analyze the results over the last few years, and they should know by now that it needs to be modified. They shouldn't put it off any longer and I am glad that this Council and Mayor are taking a stand with this issue."

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