BINGHAMTON, NY – A highly controversial bail reform bill has some Broome County elected officials fuming.
Republican State Senator Fred Akshar stood in front of local law enforcement, prosecutors and other elected officials to solidly display their opposition to the new Bail Reform law that took effect at the beginning of the year.
It removed cash bail for most non-violent crimes.
Speakers objected to the new ease with which those charged with crimes can be released from custody.
Broome County Sheriff David Harder says the new law emboldens criminals.
“The officers are out there trying to make the community safe, charging people with crimes they are committing, only to turn them loose and make the same crime again. A great example, look at New York City. Everybody knows about that. The one gentleman held up 6 different banks. Why? Because he’s going to be turned loose every time,” says Harder.
Supporters of the legislation say defendants with money have always been able to secure their release on the same charges.
Democratic Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo released a statement today, saying she is co-sponsoring legislation which will strengthen public safety while maintaining the goal of making the justice system more fair, regardless of a person’s financial situation.