Reform

Top Judge 'Confident' New York's Bail Law Will Change

BY Nick Reisman New York State

The state's top judge on Wednesday said she was confident the "unintended consequences" of the new cash bail law will be changed by state lawmakers to allow judges the ability to keep people in jail deemed too dangerous for release.

“I believe that without compromising the purity of its purpose, the new legislation can be amended, and strengthened, to recognize a narrow exception allowing judges, after a full and fair adversarial hearing, to detain a defendant in those few and extraordinary cases where such a credible threat exists,” Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said.

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NYSUT Launches Ad Campaign for Taxing the Rich

BY Nick Reisman New York State

An ad campaign to be launched Friday by the New York State United Teachers union will push for a tax increase for wealthy people in the state in order to add more spending for school aid and education.

The ad being released Friday is part of a half-million dollar buy.

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New York City Bar: Don't Rollback Bail Law

BY Nick Reisman New York State

The New York City Bar Association in a letter this week urged the state's top elected leaders to not alter or rollback the law ending cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.

"We are cognizant of the pressures created by recent attacks on bail reform but we urge you to keep these vital changes intact for long enough to permit thoughtful study and analysis of the effects of the changes," the New York City Bar Association wrote in the letter.

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Under Scrutiny, Some Lawmakers Want Green Light Law Changes

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

As expected on Monday, New York officials filed a lawsuit to reverse the federal government's freeze on trusted traveler programs for residents who are registering or must renew.

Not so expected? The criticism by James P. Kennedy, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York, who knocked the measure that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses, known as the Green Light Law.

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Bill Would Assess Judicial Diversity

BY Nick Reisman New York State

State lawmakers want a report on how diverse New York's judiciary actually is, introducing a bill Monday that would lead to the compiling and publishing of an annual report on the issue.

The measure, backed by Sens. Brad Hoylman and Luis Sepulveda, would require the Office of Court Administration to compile the demographic information on the state's judges and justices.

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Senate GOP Holds Bail Reform Task Force Meeting

BY Morgan McKay Albany/Capital Region

A Repeal Bail Reform Task Force, set up by Senate Republicans, held its first hearing in Buffalo on Thursday.

The task force says its goal is to hear from law enforcement, attorneys, probation officials and victims on the changes made to the bail and discovery process.

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NY AG James Says Trump's Rhetoric Stokes Hatred

BY Nick Reisman Albany/Capital Region

A change in the law is needed to combat the increase in hate crimes in New York, state Attorney General Letitia James said Wednesday at a forum on white nationalism and domestic terrorism.

“Given the rise in hate crimes, to sit idly by and do absolutely nothing to me is not the answer," James said at the forum, hosted by the New York State Bar Association.

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Sanders, Warren: Don't Roll Back Bail Law

BY Nick Reisman New York State

The two leading progressive candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday pushed back publicly against efforts to alter New York's new bail law.

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren posted to Twitter that it would be a mistake to roll back the law, which ended cash bail for misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges.

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