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NYC mayor asks again for changes to criminal justice reform in State of the City address

Manhattan DA says he won't prosecute a woman arrested in the death of her abusive husband

Mayor Eric Adams used his State of the City address on Thursday to reprise one of his favourite ditties: asking lawmakers to regulate the state’s criminal justice reform legal guidelines.

“Our legal system must ensure that dangerous people are kept off the streets, innocent people are not consumed by bureaucracy, and victims can obtain resolution,” he stated. “This is something we can all agree on. Let’s get it done in 2023.”

Adams is concentrated on two legal guidelines that took impact in current years: one which bars judges from setting bail for nonviolent crimes in most circumstances and one other that provides necessities for prosecutors to share proof with protection attorneys.

The mayor has steadily critiqued these two insurance policies — also referred to as bail and discovery reform — and tied them to rising crime in current years. However researchers have solid doubt on that principle, citing elements like a nationwide crime spike throughout the pandemic. State information has additionally revealed little distinction in rearrest charges from earlier than and after the reforms took impact.

Final 12 months, the state agreed to tweak to the bail reform regulation after months of lobbying from the mayor. However Adams has continued his pleas, urgent legislators to do extra to cease folks from committing new crimes after an arrest.

In his speech, Adams stated he needs to goal 1,700 folks he claims are accountable for a disproportionate quantity of the metropolis’s violent crimes.

“We all agree that no one should be in jail simply because they can’t afford to post bail,” he stated. “But we should also agree that we cannot allow a small number of violent individuals to continue terrorizing our neighbors over and over again.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed her personal changes to the state’s bail legal guidelines in her State of the State speech earlier this month. She needs lawmakers to get rid of a requirement for judges to set the “least restrictive” measures to be certain that somebody accused of a criminal offense returns to court docket.

“The bail reform law as written now leaves room for improvement,” she stated. “As leaders, we can’t ignore that when we hear so often from New Yorkers that crime is their top concern.”

The mayor additionally stated he needs to enhance funding for discovery, to guarantee prosecutors and protection attorneys have the sources they want to expedite circumstances and share info extra shortly and simply. He requested state lawmakers to assist streamline the authorized course of.

The Authorized Assist Society known as Adams’ proposal for extra discovery cash “welcome news” however opposed any rollbacks to state regulation. The general public defender group additionally requested the mayor to allocate further funding for a wage enhance, saying that they’re “hemorrhaging” employees and struggling to entice new attorneys for little pay.

“Mayor Adams frequently references the need for a fully functioning legal system, and we are very much a part of that system, representing some of New York City’s most vulnerable residents,” the Authorized Assist Society stated in a press launch. “For the wheels of justice to turn, all of our needs must be met.”

Together with updates to bail and discovery reform, Adams introduced a number of different plans geared toward enhancing public security in the coming 12 months, together with:

  • Deploying extra NYPD Neighborhood Security Groups and community-based violence prevention program in neighborhoods with excessive ranges of violent crime
  • Launching a “Neighborhood Safety Alliance” that brings collectively police precincts, service suppliers and group leaders to address violence
  • Partnering NYPD crime prevention items with enterprise enchancment districts to forestall retail theft
  • Internet hosting crime information conferences, known as CompStat, in native communities, as an alternative of simply behind closed doorways at One Police Plaza

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