“Yet all New Yorkers are hearing from liberal advocacy groups is that we are obliged to ignore each such instance of the law enabling violent criminals to create new victims — lest we be accused of racism.”
“Any rollback of (Bail Reform) is capitulation to white supremacy,” said Marie Ndiaye with the Legal Aid Society
February 3, 2020 | 8:16pm
A man accused of attempting to rape a woman at a Brooklyn subway station had been set loose on the streets because of New York’s misguided bail “reform” — and the blasé reaction of liberal groups that backed the law is all too telling.
The Legal Aid Society, for example, urged New Yorkers not to “draw any conclusions” from the fact that a man who is awaiting trial on other criminal charges was free to allegedly try to rape a woman in the subway last week.
That was the same message we heard from the NAACP and the New York Civil Liberties Union when they demonstrated on the steps of City Hall last Friday, demanding that the New York state Legislature ignore cries to rescind the misbegotten “reform.” Don’t believe your lying eyes, in other words.
Beginning in December in anticipation of the law’s Jan. 1 effective date, authorities have been forced to spring thousands from state jails.
The law’s supporters believe racist bail requirements keep innocent people in jail who can’t afford to buy their freedom. But it didn’t take long for the law’s insidious effects to manifest themselves and debunk such claims. Criminals awaiting trial on serious charges — including assault, grand larceny and even second-degree manslaughter — won get-out-of-jail-free cards. Many are repeat offenders, far from innocent victims of a supposedly racist system.
You can add the alleged subway rapist to the list of others whose release might allow them to commit more crimes. There was also, for example, the alleged perpetrator of a brutal mugging of an 83-year-old on the Lower East Side, caught on video and first reported by The Post over the weekend. He, too, had been awaiting trial on a different (burglary) charge but was released in December in anticipation of the “reform.”
These cases are just the tip of the iceberg. Law-enforcement officials around the state have begun speaking out in ever-more alarmed tones about the havoc created in the justice system by the new rules.
Yet all New Yorkers are hearing from liberal advocacy groups is that we are obliged to ignore each such instance of the law enabling violent criminals to create new victims — lest we be accused of racism.
Many upstate and Long Island Democrats in the Legislature know that their constituents don’t care about the race of those who are being let loose; they just want to feel safe; people of color are the prime victims of street criminality.
But unfortunately, specious claims of racism or invoking the specter of Willie Horton are exactly the kinds of “arguments” that generally prevail among the counsels of the liberal Democrats who govern
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has talked about modifying the legislation to give judges more latitude to keep potential repeat offenders in jail. But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s priority seems to be keeping worried back-bench Democrats in line, not taking the necessary action to change the law.
Many of the rank-and-file Democrats whose victories gave their party control of the state Senate understand something that the left-wing activists don’t seem concerned about. It’s that even the citizens of a deep-blue state and city care more about their safety and stopping a potential surge in violent crime than they do about political correctness.
Cuomo should remember that it was the belief that Democrats had run New York into the ground and were unable to deal with a surge in crime that elected Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg to five consecutive terms as mayor.
And though the Empire State Republican Party has lately appeared to be as dead as the Whigs or the Federalists, it’s hardly a stretch to imagine that the failure of Democrats to undo the damage they’ve done on bail could help give the GOP a new lease on life.
So if the justified fears of New Yorkers about a criminal-justice system that is turning loose violent criminals to commit mayhem aren’t enough to motivate the Democrats who run the state to change the law — then maybe fear of the political consequences will.
Either way, the time for delay is over. The bail law has to be changed now before the list of violent crimes committed by the beneficiaries of “reform” grows even longer.
Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS.org. Twitter: @JonathanS_Tobin.