Walsh Joins Renewed Call for Improved Public Safety Measures

Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C-Ballston) joined her Assembly and Senate Minority colleagues, family members of crime victims, victims’ right advocates and members of law enforcement at a press conference on Monday to call for increased public safety measures as crime rates continue to climb. Speakers from each respective group called for increased judicial discretion and a reversal of the state’s previously enacted bail and discovery laws.

“Today, we heard the tragic story of John Lee from his daughter, Tammy Patrick. John was murdered by an individual who was set free by New York’s reckless bail laws, even though his assailant was arrested for an assault just the day before. Stories like this one are tragic, but all too common across our state,” said Walsh.

A Siena poll released on Monday morning revealed that 55% of Majority and 78% of Minority lawmakers believe crime is a ‘serious issue’ in New York state. Similarly, members of both parties agree on the need for returning judicial discretion to the court room.

In terms of discovery laws, the Manhattan Institute reported a whopping 25% increase in case dismissals from 2019 to 2021. This is a trend being felt by prosecutors around the state who have been shouldered with a massive ‘clerical burden’ in obtaining evidence during the discovery period.

“Gov. Hochul often touts how closely she follows data when making policy decisions. The data on this crime crisis is clear, and the public agrees—we must enact meaningful change to return public safety within our communities. Not only is New York the only state in the nation that does not allow for judicial discretion, but discovery laws have forced countless prosecutions to go untried and criminals have been able to evade the rule of law.

“Alongside my Minority colleagues in Albany, we have offered practical solutions. Public safety is not a partisan issue. I implore the governor and legislative Majorities to join us and members of law enforcement at the table so we can fix this ongoing problem and finally end the senseless violence around our state,” concluded Walsh.