As a progressive prosecutor, I had high expectations for the 2019 legislative session. My party controlled both chambers, and I had hoped for legislation that spoke to the plight of our youth, the suffering of our victims, the balance of justice in the courts, the restoration of our communities and redemption of citizens carrying the weight of prior bad acts.
What Albany delivered instead were laws dismantling order.
New Yorkers awoke on April Fool’s Day to measures as flawed as the process that created them. The meaningful criminal-justice reform New Yorkers were promised fell by the wayside, and those who tout these new laws as “reform” are as brazen as Tony the Tiger boasting about the nutritional value in his boxes of sugar.
As complex as our criminal-procedure laws and penal code can be, our lawmakers didn’t hold one hearing on criminal-justice reform. They sought no input from police, prosecutors, judges or service providers. Failing to seek the advice of subject-matter experts was irresponsible. Enacting legislation premised on misinformation, sound bites and hashtags was nothing short of reckless.
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