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Capitol Voices

Radical Left Wreaks Havoc on New York's Criminal Justice System

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

Great job, New York Democrats, you’ve really done it this time! 

As the rest of the nation watches, your misguided far-left policies, passed in the middle of the night due to one party rule, are deconstructing law and order across the Empire State and replacing it with so called “criminal justice reforms” that embolden career criminals and put innocent New Yorkers at risk.


As of January 1, those committing a wide and varied list of crimes in New York state, including: coercion, menacing, stalking, assault, aggravated harassment and even aggravated assault of a child (click here for list) are freed with absolutely no bail. Unbelievably, serious crimes including strangulation, drug dealing of nearly any type, criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter are all included on the list. 

Over the past few weeks New Yorkers have witnessed:

  • A hit and run, in which an unlicensed illegal immigrant killed a young mother of three as she walked home on Christmas Eve. The driver was released with no bail after the judge cited this soon-to-take-effect bail reform law as reason to release him;
  • A woman, with a criminal history, was arrested for anti-Semitic attacks on two Jewish women, only to be  released and arrested again for two more incidents in one week;
  • A man, with 24 prior arrests, was released without bail after sucker-punching a police officer and wrestling him to the ground. The very next day, the perp was back on the same street corner harassing pedestrians.
  • A man, held since July for admitting that he stabbed a woman to death, was released from custody when the law took effect.
  • An alleged serial robber, accused of holding-up four banks in 10 days, is arrested and then released, only to commit another robbery within 24 hours. Upon being released he tells reporters, “I can’t believe they let me out... what were they thinking?”
  • A homeless man arrested for two unprovoked attacks on women was released and arrested again just a few hours later.

The number of crimes is guaranteed to rise because under this law:

  • Even those with lengthy “rap sheets” will be allowed to walk free.
  • Dangerous criminals who pose a risk to public safety can be released without bail.
  • A judge’s discretion on setting bail no longer exists and many of those arrested will simply be handed a summons by the arresting officer, released and won’t see a judge until their court appearance weeks later; if they decide to show-up.
  • Information concerning witnesses will no longer remain confidential until shortly before the trial. Now, the names of witnesses and their contact information will be released to the accused within 15 days of the arrest date, an action that will, no doubt, lead to witness intimidation and witnesses thinking twice before coming forward.

Surprisingly, the constitutional rights of the accused to a speedy trial is never addressed in the reforms, even though common sense improvements to the court system could vastly reduce the time between arrest and trial and ensure that the accused received their constitutionally-protected right to a speedy trial.

Governor Cuomo and the Democrats went wild after seizing control of both houses of the State Legislature in the 2018 elections. In just the first legislative session, they enacted a late-term abortion bill that allows the procedure up until birth. The legislature callously removed criminal penalties if an unborn baby is killed during an assault on its mother. 


In addition, they lowered sentencing for misdemeanor crimes to protect illegal immigrants convicted of crimes from deportation. Even more outrageous is the issuing of driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants without conducting proper background checks and while requiring notification of the license holder if federal law enforcement agencies request their information as part of an investigation.

In one of the most horrific incidents that took place in the wake of New York’s bail reform, an illegal immigrant was arrested for an assault after attacking and slashing his own father. But the NYPD was forced to ignore an ICE detainer request issued on the same day of the arrest. The man was released without bail and was then arrested just weeks later for sexually abusing and murdering a 92-year-old woman. The victim would be alive today if not for Bill de Blasio’s sanctuary policy that is supported by local, state, and even federal Democrat elected officials, like New York Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and my opponent, Max Rose.

The protection of its citizens is the first responsibility of any government, but the insane policies of the social justice warriors of the radical left have turned New York’s criminal justice system upside down, handcuffing the police, district attorneys, and judges while endangering the law-abiding citizens our laws are meant to protect.

It becomes obvious how radical these reforms are when even some Democrats are taken aback. David Soares, the self-described progressive District Attorney of Albany County, bluntly described the reforms as “laws dismantling order.” 


Sadly, he’s right. The rule of law is being dismantled on the municipal, state, and federal levels.   

When lawmakers that have a blatant disregard for rule of law and public safety are elected to federal office, what is happening in New York can happen nationally.

Nicole Malliotakis represents portions of Brooklyn and Staten Island in the New York State Assembly and was the Republican nominee for NYC mayor in 2017. She’s currently a candidate for congress in New York’s 11th C.D.

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