Central New York law enforcement alarmed by changes to bail laws

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Sheriffs and district attorneys, elected from counties across Central New York, came together at the Onondaga County Justice Center Thursday.

The rare gathering is intended to send a message about their concerns with new laws taking effect in 2020, primarily the elimination of the option for judges to set bail on more than 400 crimes for charges like manslaughter and vehicular homicide.

Sheriffs are frustrated their opinions were consulted before the law was passed by the State Legislature.

Those in favor of it say it will help those who can’t afford to pay for bail while others can. 

“We are forced to stand here today, after the fact, calling to the attention of the public, the legislature, and the governor, the serious flaws in these new laws. Flaws which will create chaos in the criminal justice system, great expense to the taxpayers, and most importantly, danger to our citizens,” said Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway.

“These laws were passed with support from citizens of New York across the state, from community groups that worked diligently for years to get this passed and none of that was talked about today,” said George Kunkel, a concerned citizen.

Members of law enforcement across New York State are hoping the State Legislature will take a second look before allowing the new laws to go into effect. 

Governor Cuomo stands by his decision, saying these reforms will bring greater fairness to New York’s criminal justice system.

Watch the entire press conference in the video player below.

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