The streets of New York City are about to get a lot more dangerous.
And you have NY politicians to thank, who are more concerned with the feelings of criminals than the safety of citizens.
We’re now learning that the city’s criminal justice reform plan will release people accused of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, child sex crimes, and making threats of terrorism. And they won’t even have to post bail.
It’s all part of a series of bail reforms in the state which are slated to go into effect January 2020.
The mission is to make sure suspects accused of “non-violent” crimes are not jailed before their trial dates and do not have to post bail.
The list of crimes where suspects will be freed from prison before trial includes:
-Aggravated vehicular assault
-Promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child
-Possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child
-Promoting a sexual performance by a child
-Failure to register as a sex offender
-Making terroristic threats
-Criminally negligent homicide
-Aggravated vehicular homicide
One of those recent cases took place in Warren County, New York. That’s where a suspect was charged with second-degree manslaughter. This, after police said he killed a bystander while leading police on a high-speed chase.
Even though he’s currently behind bars awaiting trial, he will be released in January when the new bail laws kick in.
Police have warned time and time again that if Cuomo doesn’t block the jailbreak laws from taking effect, it means that cops are going to fall into a cycle of re-arresting accused criminals and having to find suspects who fail to show up to their court dates.
“I’ve read social media posts, I’ve read editorials in newspapers who believe the new reforms are not that bad, because they only apply to non-serious crimes,” said State Senator Pam Helming (R).
She made the comments last week during a press conference with law enforcement officials., and pointed out how wrong they are:
“I challenge anyone who has this view to look at this list of crimes, to read the legislation and tell me that you believe that manslaughter, aggravated vehicular homicide, and rape in the third degree are minor offenses.
Tell me, how is promoting obscene sexual performances by a child a minor offense? How is that?
How about arson in the third and fourth degrees, selling controlled substances near our schools? Making terrorist threats or committing burglary and robbery in the second degree?”
Take a look at what happened last week in Manhattan.
He’s facing nearly 100 years behind bars. Now he’s free on the streets, thanks to New York’s state bail reform law that will take effect on January 1.
Police say 47-year-old José “Catano” Jorge of the Bronx is a high level drug dealer. As he walked out of Manhattan Supreme Court this week without spending a penny in bail, he screamed to the waiting crowds in Spanish:
“Cuomo for president!”
Up until this past week, he’s been held without bail while facing up to 96 years on charges of selling a controlled substance and conspiracy.
But now, for the duration of his trial, he can now walk free.
He’s one of almost 900 inmates set to be released in late 2019. The stated mission is to help courts avoid a logjam when bail reform formally kicks in next year.
Police say Jorge peddled the drugs tied to the fatal overdose of a 28-year-old man. It happened at a York Avenue diner on the Upper East Side in January 2018.
Police set up a sting, and that’s where he was busted. The move was made after police said they linked him to fentanyl-laced heroin found at the scene.
According to authorities, they set up a wiretap and had an undercover agent buy drugs from Jorge.
The prosecutor in the case had begged the judge to keep Jorge behind bars based on the amount of evidence against the defendant and the severity of the charges.
“His sales are recorded on video. The conversations the defendant had during those sales are chilling,” Assistant District Attorney Nancy Frigo wrote to Judge Abraham Clott.
That’s according to a report in The Post.
“He described in detail how he likes to mix fentanyl into the heroin. Laughed off an accusation of causing someone’s death, and explained that overdoses are actually good for business because then everyone wants what he is selling.”
Three other co-defendants also walked free Thursday – in spite of the fact that they previously were considered worthy of remand.
His co-defendant, Jose Feliciano, was also released, pending sentencing after taking a plea deal. If he had refused the plea deal, he too would have walked free under the new bail-reform terms.
A woman joined Feliciano as he left court. She gave the finger to a Post reporter and said:
“Outside, I beat bitches up like you.”
Nearly 900 incarcerated people in New York City could be celebrating Christmas early courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a plan to quietly free them before the state’s bail-reform law goes into effect next year.
A spokesperson for Cuomo said:
“Fearmongering aside, we understand there are concerns about implementing these landmark reforms and we believe it must be done appropriately and effectively.”
New York’s Division of Criminal Justice Services released data in October of 2018 that shows the recidivism rate in New York is right at 66%. That means that, of the 880 inmates expected to be released early in NYC, 581 of them are most likely going to end up committing additional crimes after there release.
It is understandable to be concerned over the latest pro-criminal legislation coming out of New York. That concern does not equate to fearmongering; it equates to common sense.
Just in case early release wasn’t enough of a gift, Mayor Bill de Blasio is promising to follow up with even more presents for these accused criminals, by giving them free baseball tickets, movie passes and gift cards to encourage them to return to court, sources familiar with the program said.
“You’re literally rewarding them for committing a crime,’’ said a disgusted senior staffer in Manhattan Criminal Court.
And we all know how well conditions of release are followed. What the Mayor is about to find is that he bought a bunch of gifts for people that will not show up for their court dates. Some could potentially sell their tickets and then no-show.
The proposed early jail release is associated with a law that Cuomo signed in the spring to eliminate bail for defendants charged with a number of misdemeanor and felony crimes.
The more than 400 offenses include such heinous acts as criminally negligent homicide, aggravated assault on a child under 11 and selling drugs on or near school grounds, according to a memo being circulated by prosecutors across the state and obtained by The New York Post.
The law goes into effect Jan. 1 but it will be retroactive — meaning inmates who are already locked up on such cases can apply to have their bail lifted and to be freed.
In the Big Apple, court officials estimate that 880 prisoners — about 16 percent of all pretrial detainees housed by the Department of Correction — will be eligible for the get-out-of-jail-free cards.
To avoid a deluge of applications in the new year, the state Office of Court Administration has held a series of conferences where officials outlined four ways for judges to deal with the new law, according to a source familiar with the situation.
One proposal would allow judges to issue pre-emptive orders that “comply with the new statute before its effective date,” the source said — and the OCA is already prepping for the move.
OCA spokesman Lucian Chalfen said court and city officials had “begun the unprecedented process of discharge planning and developing the complex logistical process of releasing those defendants.”
You want to know why it is unprecedented? It’s because it is stupid. It has never been done before because most people use logic and common sense, and understand what a catastrophe this type of initiative will be.
“To that end, a plan is being developed to stagger the release of defendants starting in mid-December,” Chalfen said. “If a judge, however, feels that it was necessary to make certain [release] orders effective Jan. 1, they certainly retain the discretion to do so.”
The other options discussed at the conferences include taking a wait-and-see approach, scheduling Jan. 2 hearings for everyone who applies — or issuing release orders that take effect on Jan. 1 or 2, the source said.
The Legal Aid Society, which provides government-funded representation for indigent criminal defendants, has instructed its lawyers to file motions on behalf of their eligible clients immediately and to seek their release as soon as possible.
Most judges “have been reluctant to go along” so far, but Legal Aid hopes that will change “with some guidance from OCA,” said Marie Ndiaye, supervising lawyer of its Decarceration Project.
“It is completely arbitrary and cruel to hold people pre-trial now who will have to be released come Jan. 1,” Ndiaye said.
“Early implementation will help ensure that the Office of Court Administration and the Department of Correction are not overwhelmed, and it will also ensure that those New Yorkers being released have a discharge plan and are connected to services that they need.”
State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Geneva) was less than pleased upon learning about the early-release plan.
“Any attempt to accelerate this process makes a bad situation even worse, threatens public safety and is a disservice to law-abiding citizens,” he said.
“With every law that New York Democrats roll back, our streets become less safe. Their platform that caters to convicts and protects hardened criminals puts the rest of us in danger.”
What happens when the pre-trial offenders are back on the street?
For starters, they get to take in a Mets game as the guests of the city, the Mayor and the not-for-profit Criminal Justice Agency, will be offering tickets and gift cards to ensure that inmates who get sprung don’t skip their court dates, sources said.
A law-enforcement source noted that the tickets would be for the Mets — whose games are in considerably less demand than the Yankees, thus less expensive.
It’s unclear how much taxpayer money will be spent on the rewards, which echo an earlier de Blasio program that offered low-level criminal defendants $15 Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards to fill out questionnaires about their experiences in court.
That criminal-incentivizing initiative cost taxpayers $800,000.
NYPD cops were outraged over the perks being offered to alleged criminals.
“It is bad enough that [suspects] have to be reminded [to show up to court], but to be rewarded is ludicrous,’’ a Queens cop griped.
A Brooklyn officer said of the baseball games:
“What do the victims get — to watch it on TV?’’
A Brooklyn cop added:
“What does that say about the Mets? Are Yankees tickets reserved for murderers? I am sure it will only be a matter of time before they get out on ‘no bail’ too.”
A rep for the mayor’s office said in an e-mail to The Post that the city has a “nationally recognized, award-winning Supervised Release program’’ which “has produced consistently high rates of return to court, which we expect will continue after the State law goes into effect.”
And it’s not just New York. This “jailbreak legislation” is actually helping to free thousands of accused and convicted criminals from prison.
So far under the First Step Act that was signed into law by President Trump, about 240 sex offenders have been freed along with nearly 60 convicted murderers and assailants and almost 1,000 inmates convicted of drug crimes.