Republicans call for anti-crime laws in New York

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 2:03 PM EDT
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ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Republicans in the state legislature proposed anti-crime laws Tuesday.

In a statement, Assembly Republican leader Will Barclay - from Pulaski - said the legislation would “combat the dramatic rise in violent crime experienced in communities across New York state.”

“How many more innocent victims are going to be shot, assaulted or killed before we advance a meaningful crime bill to address the egregious shortcomings in our criminal justice system?” Barclay said in the statement.

“It’s time for Albany to do something about the horror stories we’re seeing every day.”

The legislation announced by Republicans in the state assembly Tuesday includes:

- Restoring to judges more discretion about whether a defendant should BE GRANTED BAIL>

- Removing all gun crimes from the “no-bail” list of crimes.

- Require at least three parole commissioners to vote for a prisoner’s parole.

- Authorizing life in prison without parole for “persistent violent felony offenders.”

- Increase the seriousness of the crime for someone who shoots into a crowd.

- Add five years in prison to anyone committing a felony while possessing a loaded firearm.

- Make hate crimes, crimes for which bail can be set.

- Eliminate parole for anyone who sexually assaults and murders a person under the age of 18.

Republicans in the state senate were tom announce their own bills Tuesday afternoon, to reform the parole system.

The Republican proposals are not likely to pass.

Republicans are essentially powerless in the state legislature; Democrats have large majorities in both the assembly and senate, and control what bills get debated, voted on and passed.

And just as Republicans unveiled their proposals, the People’s Campaign For Parole is pushing measures to streamline parole and to make it easier for older people to get parole.

Republicans are correct to claim that some kinds of violent crime have gone up, at least as far as New York CIty goes. But as this article points out, there are some nuances to pay attention to.

When you take the state as a whole, there is less proof of a problem: New York is nowhere close to having the highest homicide rate in the country and has one of the lowest rates for death by firearm.

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