Lalor Backs Legislation To Repeal So-Called Bail Reform

New Legislation Would Repeal Changes to Bail Process, Allow Judges to Decide

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I-East Fishkill) is sponsoring new legislation that would repeal the changes made this year to the state’s bail process, wherein judges no longer have the ability to set bail for a defendant for dozens of serious offenses, including child sex crimes, animal abuse, certain acts of terrorism, and criminal sale of drugs on school grounds.

“It boggles the mind that Albany could even consider these changes – but they did. This is an example of the extreme ‘pro-criminal’ mindset taking hold of our state capitol right now,” said Lalor, who is also a practicing attorney. “Not only do these bail changes threaten public safety, but they also compromise the separation of powers outlined in our constitution. They were tossed into a complex, omnibus budget bill that was negotiated behind closed doors in secret and brought out for a vote in the middle of the night – another example of how desperately our budget process needs reform. These changes are dangerous and unconstitutional. That’s why I voted no and am sponsoring a total repeal.”

The new legislation Lalor is sponsoring (awaiting bill number) would enact a total repeal of changes made to the bail code as part of the 2019-20 State Budget. These changes have drawn sharp criticism from law enforcement and judicial branches across the state. The changes removed language that allowed judges to set bail and will allow defendants to simply walk out of jail after processing, before trial, on a large variety of serious offenses, such as:

  • Aggravated vehicular assault
  • Aggravated assault upon a person less than 11 years old
  • Criminally negligent homicide
  • Aggravated vehicular homicide
  • Manslaughter in the second degree
  • Grand larceny in the first degree
  • Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds or criminal possession of a firearm
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and second degrees
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance on or near school grounds
  • Specified felony drug offenses involving the use of children, including the use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense and criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child
  • Money laundering in support of terrorism in the third and fourth degrees
  • Making a terroristic threat
  • Promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child
  • Promoting a sexual performance by a child
  • Failure to register as a sex offender
  • Tampering with a juror and tampering with physical evidence
  • Aggravated harassment in the first degree
  • Criminal sale of a firearm to a minor
  • Aggravated cruelty to animals, overdriving, torturing and injuring animals
  • Animal fighting