New York Democrats scaled back bail reforms in light of a crime surge across the nation.

A new agreement called Kendra’s Law will allow judges more control over bail. They will be able to consider the defendant’s gun records and prior violations of the law.

“We have to realize there are areas where improvements can and need to be made,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said as she announced the deal on Thursday.

“And so to the New Yorkers who are concerned about the rise in crime, we have put forth a comprehensive package that, again, achieves and continues the progress we’ve made in the past to make sure our criminal justice system is fair. And we are not moving backward. We are moving forward with a thoughtful approach,” she continued.

The murder of George Floyd in 2020 sparked outrage and conversation around bail reforms. In 2019, Democrats pushed to get rid of cash bail, which allows defendants to hand over cash in return for their release. They argued that the elimination would ensure no defendant was in prison just because they couldn’t afford to pay bail, and no one could get out just because they had money. An addition to the bill, passed under former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, broadened the crimes that someone could go to jail for before their trial.

Opponents of the bail reform, including many law enforcement officers from across New York, have made it clear that they believe the bail reform is contributing to the uptick in crime.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) ran his mayoral race as a candidate who was tough on crime as a former police officer, and he voiced that Kendra’s Law was not enough and that his proposal to allow judges to decide bail based on the “dangerousness standard” was rejected because said it could lead to decisions based on race.

Gun violence is up 74 percent from last year while murders rose by 26 percent, according to the NYPD.

“The criminals doing this, even when they are caught, are not going to jail,” New York City councilman Robert Holden said via Twitter. “It’s always good to have more police on the street and there is an NYPD program that etches a serial number on your converter, so it can be identified if stolen. But the bottom line is that Albany’s bail reform means that there are no consequences and that needs to change.”

Read more about:

Get the free uPolitics mobile app for the latest political news and videos

iPhone Android