The “year of the perp” (as it’s being called by the NYPD) is well underway in New York City and around the rest of the state. Under the newly enacted bail reform laws, criminals are being shuffled into jails and courtrooms and then back out onto the streets so quickly that the cops are getting dizzy just watching them. This new way of doing things has resulted in anger and frustration among many of the more law-abiding residents of the state, but thus far no solutions are being offered. The other criminal justice reform measures, including turning all evidence over to defense lawyers within fifteen days of an indictment, is also complicating matters. And as the NY Post reports, dealing with this new state of affairs is beginning to cost the taxpayers money. A lot of money.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t the barrier to fixing last year’s botched criminal justice reforms — but he’s still showing no sign he’ll lead the way.
Notably, the gov’s budget admits one point that he and the Legislature’s Democratic leaders have denied for months: The “reforms” mean crime labs and district attorney’s offices need a ton of cash.
The new law requires prosecutors to turn over all evidence to the defense within 15 days of arraignment or indictment. That’s a huge burden: Until now, it’s often taken months for labs to process crime-scene evidence, and it often wasn’t even necessary, because the defense cut a plea deal first. Most cases never even go to trial, after all.
Whether it’s overtime for the police officers and detectives or premium costs for laboratories to rush back evidence analysis from crime scenes, the bills are adding up fast. And much of this is pointless, anyway. As the report notes, the majority of criminal cases never even go to trial. If the prosecution’s case looks strong enough, a plea deal is usually put on the table and we avoid the need for a trial. Then the evidence all disappears into a locker. But now, under the new law, they have to pay to process pretty much everything.
The overtime question also covers security for witnesses and victims. In the past, anyone thinking of offering testimony could remain relatively anonymous, particularly if a plea deal eliminated the need for a trial. But now the names of both the victim(s) and potential witnesses have to be turned over to the defense rapidly. And particularly in cases involving gang violence, “snitches” aren’t very popular and can wind up in trouble, so officers have to be assigned to protect them.
All of this comes on top of the string of serial burglars and habitual bank robbers cycling through the revolving door of the justice system and hitting one target after another. People are getting increasingly fed up and venting their anger in public meetings.
And yet, at least so far, the Governor hasn’t offered any possible remedy except to consider making an exception for perpetrators of hate crimes, particularly those committed against Jews. That’s great for our friends in the Jewish community, but doesn’t do much for everyone else putting up with all of the mayhem.
When will the Governor and the Mayor of Gotham finally come out and admit that they completely dropped the ball on this? And if they refuse to do anything about it, will New York’s voters keep sending this same collection of clown car occupants back to office again next November? Insanity is famously described as doing the same thing over and over again while somehow expecting different results. The Democratic stranglehold on New York City and the state government has brought us to this sorry state of affairs. Don’t expect them to bail you out if you keep rewarding them with more electoral victories.