Gov. Cuomo open to making changes to new state bail reform law

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he is open to making changes to the state’s controversial new bail reform law.

At an event in Manhattan Monday, Cuomo defended the state's recently enacted bail reform law but acknowledged the need for adjustments.

The announcement comes after several incidents of suspects released without bail being arrested again.

As News 12 reported, Nassau police say Gerard Conway robbed a Bagel Boss in Carle Place on New Year’s Day after being released without bail following an arrest for a string of burglaries on the previous day.

Also on New Year’s Day, police say Maria Campione was released from custody, only to be arrested again twice within just a few hours after allegedly vandalizing an Oceanside ATM and breaking into an elementary school. 

There was also an incident over the weekend in which Paul Catungo was arrested and then promptly released after police say he was caught recording video of a woman through a window of her home while she was in the shower.

MORE:
Police: Man released under new bail law burglarizes Carle Place store hours later 
Valley Stream man accused of recording video of showering neighbor 

Rep. Jim Gaughran says the new law is well-intentioned but too narrow. 

“People that are accused of crimes, that are real significant crimes, but not major crimes, shouldn't just be sitting in jail because they can't afford to make bail,” said Gaughran.

However, he said he hopes changes to fix the bill will be made soon, including his proposed bill that would allow judges to decide if bail should be set for dozens of additional charges.

The bill was passed by the Democrat-controlled state Legislature last year as part of New York's overall budget package.

A spokesperson for state Senate Republicans calls the new law an unmitigated disaster.

"They enacted these changes over the objections of District Attorneys, law enforcement, and Republicans in the state Senate, every one of whom voted no. As far as changes go, we'll believe it when we see it," says the spokesperson.

 

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