ALBANY, NY — Republican Senator Tom O’Mara and Republican Assembly Chairman Will Barclay, along with Senator Alexis Weik, Rep. Robert Smullen, members of law enforcement, attorneys for victims and members of Republican Senate and Assembly conferences have been named on Monday unveiled a package of legislation to create a safer New York. Republicans said these sweeping policy solutions would support law enforcement, fix the state’s criminal justice system, crack down on illegal gun crime and protect victims and innocent New Yorkers.
“Every day we hear about yet another blanket release mandate for even the most violent criminals. We hear how they deserve the second chance at life they have stolen from our families. But I have yet to hear how those released back into society have been rehabilitated. Instead of issuing these blanket release mandates, Governor Kathy Hochul and her majority should focus on investing in the rehabilitation of nonviolent offenders to prevent victimization in the first place before it’s too late for families like ours and the offenders themselves. The current revolving door system that they have created is clearly not working,” Jennifer Harrison, founder of Victims’ Rights NY, said in a press release.
“It is neither just nor fair to refuse to pass a bad law because you think it is bad policy. Crime victims, law enforcement officials, and other state Democrats who have worked to reform their bail practices all know that discretionary justice is sound policy. We need to restore it. We must provide our police officers with the resources they need to do their jobs, and we must expand funding for mental health and drug treatment programs so more New Yorkers can transform their lives before they harm innocent people,” he said Sen. Jake Ashby (R, C, – Castleton) explained.
“In the face of the failure of the criminal justice system of Governor Hochul and the majority, there must now be a new name for ‘victims of crime’: it is ‘Forgotten People!’ I am proud to join my colleagues and former constituent Tammy Patrick whose late father, John Lee, was allegedly killed on June 9th by an individual who was arrested and accused of assaulting another man the day before Mr. Lee was killed and then released due to the failure of the New York bail law. Tammy Patrick fully supports my bipartisan legislation to repeal the Fractional Bail Reform Act and to give judges real discretion to protect our communities and close the revolving door of danger and disaster,” said Senator Jim Tedisco (R, C,—Glenville). .
“Decisions about the dangerousness of a criminal and the seriousness of his actions should be left to the New York judges,” noted Rep. Scott Bendett (R, C, — Sand Lake).
“Judges should have discretion to consider all the facts – a person’s history, the nature of the crime itself, all parties involved and the general circumstances of the case. I believe in protecting New York families and communities and allowing judges to use their experience and discretion to uphold our justice system,” added Bendett.
To support law enforcement, fix the state’s criminal justice system, crack down on illegal gun crime, and protect victims and innocent New Yorkers, Republicans proposed:
Creation of the SAFER Communities Grant Program to invest in critical investigative and law enforcement resources to increase homicide and gun crime clearance rates;
Lifting HALT to protect our law enforcement officers; and
Allowing the use of family DNA to give law enforcement more investigative tools.
reversing disastrous bail and discovery laws and providing judicial discretion to stop the revolving door in our criminal justice system;
Against the soft-crime policies promoted by the Democratic majorities, including the so-called “Clean Slate” law, “Elder Parole” and others; and
Higher penalties for habitual repeat offenders who commit crimes that impact New Yorkers’ quality of life.
reducing the use of illegal firearms by increasing funding for gun ban efforts;
increasing penalties for crimes committed with stolen firearms and mandatory back-to-back convictions for crimes involving illegal firearms; and
Make any misdemeanor or offense involving bail for illegal firearms eligible and amend Raise the Age to ensure that 16- and 17-year-olds charged with certain gun-related or gang-related crimes are prosecuted as adults will.
restricting the release of identifying information in certain cases and introducing policies to protect victims’ rights during the probation process;
increasing Office of Victim Services reimbursement caps for crime victims and investing in victim support programs; and
Empowering judges to issue lifetime protection orders for certain crimes, such as violent crimes and domestic violence crimes.
The package outlined Monday is the first in a series of sweeping proposals to be put forward by the Republican conferences in this session to reduce crime, strengthen public safety and protect victims and innocent, law-abiding New Yorkers.
Earlier this month, Senate Republicans unveiled the 2023 Rescue New York legislative agenda, including creating a safer New York. The Republican agenda, partially outlined Monday, would:
restoring common sense to our criminal justice system to prevent crime and keep New Yorkers safe;
stepping up efforts and investments to end the opioid and mental health epidemics; and
Support and protect our seniors and other vulnerable New Yorkers.