ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Members of Congress from New York are criticizing the state’s new criminal justice reforms for doing more for alleged criminals and not protecting crime victims.
Republican Tom Reed and Democrat Anthony Brindisi both represent districts that include part of the Southern Tier.
They are part of a bi-partisan group of New York representatives who have sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
They object to several parts of the reforms, including a requirement for prosecutors to turn over witness contact information to the defense and they are opposed to the new bail reforms which they say will allow violent criminals to be free while awaiting trial.
“New York State needs to listen to local law enforcement from places like Upstate New York and take into consideration the unique challenges facing our law enforcement departments and our local budgets,” Brindisi said.
Reed said the state would be better off modeling their reforms after federal reforms signed into law by President Trump.
“Stop,” Reed said. “Repeal this criminal justice reform effort in New York, go back to the drawing board and engage in real criminal justice reform where the rights of victims, the rights of law-abiding citizens are protected and are paramount in the conversation.”
The group also said the cost to upstate counties was ignored when the new reforms were created.
Reed said the due-process rights of the accused should be protected, but not at the expense of the safety of crime victims. He also believes more should be done to help incarcerated to re-enter society after they serve their sentence.
The new state reforms go into effect in 2020.