Rally held in Mineola to support state bail reform laws to go into effect in 2020
A rally was held in Mineola Tuesday to celebrate new bail reform laws set to go into effect in New York at the start of 2020.
The controversial law will allow people charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies to be released without cash bail, pending their trails.
Supporter Susan Gottehrer, of the Nassau Civil Liberties Union, says it will put an end to the '”criminalization of poverty.”
Gottehrer said, "I'm just grateful that it's happening and I just want to remind people that there's no difference between people who committed crimes, whether they have money or not and that's what this is about."
Serena Liguori, of New Hour for Women and Children LI, agrees that this reform is for the better.
“We believe that those who committed nonviolent offenses and misdemeanors deserve a chance to be out on bail and to make amends in the community - receive support and services,” said Liguori.
Under the new law, anyone charged with second-degree manslaughter, aggravated vehicular homicide and third-degree rape would be released without bail since they are classified as nonviolent felonies.
Some people at the Safe Center Long Island say there does need to be reform, but that these measures go way too far and that they do nothing to protect the victim.
“They're getting out within a couple of hours and they can go right back to possibly abusing the victim again,” said Safe Center Executive Director Keith Scott.
Scott also pointed to another piece of the reform that will allow defendants to revisit and examine crime scenes, even if it's a victim's home.
"Think what that does to a victim's mentality— that your alleged rapist is coming into your home and intruding on your space again, to investigate the scene,” said Scott.
Under the new law, prosecutors will also have to provide discovery within 15 days of arraignment in most cases. Discovery is the information that prosecutors and the defense intend to use at trial.