Bail law now gives judges discretion to hold violent defendants in jail

Published: May. 3, 2023 at 2:56 PM EDT
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - Governor Kathy Hochul says judges should have the authority to detain dangerous defendants.

She signed a law Wednesday as part of the new state budget that gives judges the discretion to hold violent criminals in jail.

This partially reverses the state bail reform law passed in 2019, which eliminated the use of cash bail for most misdemeanors and some non-violent felony charges.

“The agreement...removes what is known as the least restrictive means standard, which judges have said ties their hands. It now gives them discretion if they need to hold violent criminals accountable,” said Hochul

It wasn’t only judges who complained about bail reform. Many police said it made law enforcement much more difficult as suspects would be arrested only to be freed by a judge, and be back on the street.

Bail reform advocates say bail discriminates against those who can’t come up with bail money.