On Sunday morning John Mille, the NYPD Deputy Commissioner, publicly ridiculed the new criminal justice reform currently taking place in New York. 

In a report about the new criminal justice reform law from the New York Times dated March 31st 2019 explains “suspects busted on misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies will walk free — in some cases without arraignment — under legislation that’s part of the 2020 budget deal.”

Deputy Commissioner Mille has been quick to point out the flaws in this type of reform that is slated to go into effect in 2020 as part of a state budget deal.

Millie explained to John Catsimatidis on 970 AM New York that the numbers for those that were being arrested and being released at arraignment without bail were nearing 90%.  

When this law goes into effect, nearly 100% of those arrested will be released in this same manner. The only exception to this legislation would be arrests that involve violent offenses such as murder.

Law enforcement in New York City has been against the new criminal justice reform law arguing that there is little within the reform that would encourage individuals to think twice about committing crimes once the legislation is passed.

Millie went on further to explain that if the fear of arrest, and the thought of jail time was ever a deterrent to individuals thinking of committing crimes—this new law “is going to be a problem because criminals are going to know at the time they’re arrested ‘I’m not really risking going to jail.’”

The elimination of cash bail was added in a law that was quietly placed into the budget negotiation process, as reported by the New York Times, when other attempts at passing said budget had failed. Adding this piece of legislation, helped the budget pass without issue.

In a further attempt to reform the criminal justice process, the legislation also seemingly assists defendants in their cases. As the New York times reported in March of 2019 the new legislation will “aim to reduce the amount of time before cases are brought to trial and will prevent prosecutors from withholding evidence until the day a trial begins.  Defendants will also be allowed to review whatever evidence the prosecution has before pleading guilty.”

It is reported that this new push for criminal justice reform in New York was created after the case of Kalief Browder.  Browder, an African American teenager, was arrested in New York at the age of 16 in 2010 after being accused of stealing a backpack. 

The New Yorker reported that at the time of the 2010 arrest, Browder was on probation for grand larceny for a case involving a delivery truck that he was suspected of stealing and crashing into a parked car.

Sources say, as Browder was still on probation at the time of this second arrest, the judge ordered bail be set at $3,000.  When Browder and his family were unable to come up with the cash bail amount, he was sent to Riker’s Island, where he ultimately was held for over three years in Riker’s island, two of those years being spent in solitary confinement.  

Ultimately the charges against Browder were dropped, and he was released from Rikers, but later committed suicide, which his family reportedly argues is the direct result of the time he spent at the jail.

The New Yorker Magazine reports, “of the eight million people living in New York City, some eleven thousand are confined to the city’s jails on any given day, most of them on Rikers island…”

Most think of Rikers as one large facility in New York, but it is actually made up of several facilities that hold male and female offenders, both adult and juvenile.

Supporters of the new criminal justice reform policy argue that, eliminating cash bail will help with cases like that of Kalief Browder. Racial imbalance is a key argument from many supporters for why this reform needs to take effect.

The discussion of criminal justice reform and racial disparities is taking place across the nation, especially in the political arena as the 2020 Presidential election starts to ramp up.  Regarding the national average as reported by Fortue.com:

“While the statistics say the black male inmate population is largely declining, the imprisonment rate is still six times that of sentenced white males and more than twice that of Hispanic males, according to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.” 

While supporters in New York feel that the criminal justice reform law will help with eliminating the racial imbalance of jailed individuals, it will also help with jail overcrowding which is already putting a strain on aging and outdated correctional facilities.

Deputy Police Commissioners however, had a warning for reporters and supporters alike on Sunday stating – “That’s going to be a real problem.”

In the meantime, as we reported in April, some politicians are pushing a bill to free rapists and murderers over age 55 from prison.

If it seems too crazy to be true… chances are, it’s coming out of New York, California or Connecticut.  And this proposed bill is a straight up slap in the face to law enforcement officers and law-abiding citizens.

Law enforcement officials and New York City Republicans are fuming over a proposal by city Democrats.

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Get this.  It would grant parole eligibility to older inmates who have served some prison time.  It’s being dubbed the “elder parole” bill.

Felons who are currently serving time, including rapists and murderers, would be released onto the street if the controversial state bill passes.  Any inmate aged 55 and older who has served at least 15 years in prison would be automatically eligible for parole.

On Fox and Friends First Monday, New York City councilman Joe Borelli blasted the “elder parole” bill and it’s automatic eligibility.

“These are not people that stole a candy bar, they’re not people that smoked a joint and got caught,” he said.

He pointed out anyone in jail for 15 years or more has likely committed a “heinous crime” that “at 15 years prior, a judge and jury thought you deserved to be put away for almost the remainder of your life.”

It slams it as “basically an amnesty program” for murderers, rapists, child molesters and others with Class A and Class B felonies.

He cited issues with the New York State Parole Board.

“So when they say eligibility of parole, given the history of this state’s parole board, we should all be concerned that this is going to be almost an amnesty program,” the Republican said.

According to the New York Post:

The legislation has quietly flown under the radar since being introduced in the Assembly in February by Queens Democrat David Weprin.

The release of Weather Underground terrorist Judith Clark, paroled earlier this month after serving more than 37 years in prison, gave the bill’s backers a new talking point.

Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhatta, introduced the accompanying Senate bill about a week before Clark’s release.  She praised her parole:

“There are so many more Judith Clarks out there” and “we must work to fight for their freedom.”

Lest you think there’s no way this outrageous bill could pass, here’s what you should know.

It’s already moved through crime committees in both the Senate and Assembly.

If it becomes law, at 900 convicts could have a chance at freedom, according to Hoylman’s office.

Borelli, referencing the example of Judith Clark, gave a hard reality check:

“This is someone who for most of us – back here on planet earth and most of New York State, really – deserve to be, should be in jail for the remainder of their life.”

He slammed the bill as “misguided”.

“These are families who aren’t going to get their loved-ones back when they turn 55 or after 15 years,” he added.

It’s almost as if it’s a push to see who can go further left. 

“It’s just the New York State Democrats trying to win the contest of who could be the craziest,” Borelli said.

He also debunked the argument critics have made about the expense of keeping the criminals behind bars, at taxpayer expense.

“It is expensive to keep people against their will in a place that prevents the rest of us from getting raped of murdered,” Borelli snapped. “Prison still has a punitive aspect to it. We should be following through on the commitment we made to the victims years prior and keep these folks in jail for the remainder of their sentence.”

To be clear, even those serving life without parole sentences could benefit from the bill if it passes into law.

Criminals could be released such as ‘90s serial killer Joel Rifkin, the Queens Wendy’s massacre mastermind John Taylor, and Bronx child rapist Clarence Moss.

“The loved ones they lost are not coming back when the defendants turn 55 — they are never coming back,” Assistant District Attorney John Ryan said.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is in support of the bill.

“If someone has gone through the process of changing themselves . . . there should be a mechanism for them to then appear before a parole board that will fully vet them,” he said.

Hoylman argued that “we are looking at billions of dollars . . . that could be used toward a lot of other worthwhile purposes”.  It’s an argument quickly dismissed by Borelli.

“We’ve seen this act before,” he said Monday. “This is a summation of the priorities of the Democratic Party in 2019. They care more about the inmates than the corrections officers, they care more about the suspects than the cops, and – with respect to this – they care more about the criminals than the victims who’ve suffered.”

The bill was approved by the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction.  It’s chaired by State Sen. Luis Sepulveda, D-Bronx. There was absolutely no debate on the bill at the meeting.  Sepulveda and other Democrats bragged about it being a money-saver for the state that would change the lives of aging parolees.

“This is, in terms of fiscal policy, a no-brainer,” Sepulveda said. “If you look at the recidivism rate of people over 55 that are released, it’s minuscule.”

It was proposed last year, but Republicans controlled the State Senate and it never stood a chance with them.  

The Release Aging People in Prison campaign is being lead by Jose Saldana, who is pushing the bill on the advocacy side.  The push has been happening for years, but now that Democrats have a majority of both houses of the Legislature for the first time in nearly a decade… it’s likely to go through.

“It would impact hundreds of elderly incarcerated men and women who are mentors and educators to countless people they’ve been incarcerated with,” Saldana said. “The bill offers hope and an opportunity for people to return to their families and home communities to continue to repair the harm they caused.”

illegal immigrants, Governor Brown, Governor Cuomo

 

His group is one of several pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fully staff the state parole board. State law says there are supposed to be 19 commissioners on the board, but there are currently 12.  Only Cuomo can make appointments to it.

“Too many people have been unjustly denied release because of understaffing,” said Anthony Posada.  He’s the supervising attorney of the community justice unit at The Legal Aid Society.  “This devastates their families and communities, creates a lack of due process in the system and requires immediate action.”

The Governor’s spokesman said he’s deliberately slow-walking the appointments, as has been done in the past.

“Governor Cuomo has filled vacancies on the Board of Parole at the same level and pace as previous governors have for the past several decades,” the spokesman said. “He has prioritized the appointment of individuals with a diverse range of professional expertise, such as mental health professionals, attorneys, psychologists and others with criminal justice experience. The Governor has also supported additional reforms to the parole system.”

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