New York state senators from Long Island want to amend the criminal justice reforms they passed in April to give authority back to judges to set bail for certain defendants.
Lawmakers eliminated cash bail for most low-level crimes as part of the state budget. They say cash bail punishes poor people and minorities. Only offenders charged with violent felonies would be held on bail.
Opponents say it would lead to the release of some dangerous people.
“There are certain crimes where you just have to let the judge take a fresh look and make a decision as to whether or not somebody should be held on bail,” said Senator Jim Gaughran, who is a sponsor of new legislation that would require bail hearings in certain cases.
Gaughran is concerned about drug and gang crimes related to MS-13.
He says crimes like assault, sex crimes, drug felonies and money laundering would get bail hearings.