New offenses eligible for bail, changes included in new $177B state budget

State News
Albany capital

ALBANY, NY – MARCH 16: The New York State Capitol building is seen March 16, 2008 in Albany, New York. New York State Lt. Gov. David Paterson will be sworn in here on March 17, replacing Gov. Eliot Spitzer who resigned last week in a prostitution scandal.(Photo by Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – The state’s recently enacted bail reform laws are receiving some tweaks in this year’s $177 billion state budget deal.

While Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was proud of the changes, which went into effect January 1st, but admitted adjustments needed to be made to improve public safety.

So far the changes are receiving mixed reaction.

Some of the changes include making more high-level offenses eligible for bail including domestic violence felonies, crimes resulting in death, additional sex crimes and high-level drug offenses, according to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ Office.

An extra $40 million has also been set aside to help implement the criminal discovery reforms passed alongside bail reform.

One of those discovery tweaks includes allowing the prosecution up to 35 days to provide new evidence to the defense instead of the current 15 days (30 days in some instances).

Meanwhile, supporters of the initial bail reforms, who wanted no roll-backs, said it will lead to an increase in people in jails and prisons.

In a statement, a spokesperson with the Center for Community Alternatives said:

“It is unconscionable that Albany played politics with the lives of tens of thousands of New Yorkers. Contrary to what Governor Cuomo says, the rollbacks passed today are not “improvements,” instead they massively expand the number of people subjected to the horror and injustice of pretrial jailing.”

Others, however, said the changes didn’t go far enough. Some law enforcement members have said they wished the changes included more judicial discretion.

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