FWD.us Statement on the Continued Need for Pretrial Reform in New York

WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement today as the New York State Legislative Session ended without passage of meaningful pretrial reform:

“We are deeply disappointed that New York State lawmakers failed to enact meaningful bail, discovery, or speedy trial reform during this legislative session. Overwhelming public support for bold bail reform and advocacy from Members of Congress, business leaders, NFL players and team owners, entertainers, and advocates created incredible momentum and energy behind this issue. Our work is not done, and FWD.us will continue to collaborate with incredible partners across the state to reform New York’s broken pretrial justice system.

“We do recognize and thank the Assembly for its leadership in passing bail, speedy trial, and discovery reform bills which would go a long way in fixing New York’s broken pretrial system. If Albany had signed Assemblymember Latrice Walker’s Bail Reform Bill (10137A) into law, New York would lead the nation in the movement to end money bail. Assemblymember Joseph Lentol’s Discovery Reform Bill (A4360A) provides New Yorkers accused of crimes with more transparent and automatic access to the information they need to make fair, informed decisions about whether to plead guilty or go to trial. Kalief’s Law, sponsored by Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry and passed by the Assembly for the third time, is another important step in bringing New Yorkers to trial faster.

“Even after these historic passages in the Assembly, the New York legislature again let pretrial reform fall off the table this session. We know that bipartisanship on criminal justice reform is possible, as evidenced by Republican Senator John DeFrancisco’s bill to promote prosecutor accountability which passed through both chambers this week. We urge Governor Cuomo to sign that important legislation into law immediately and hope this small step forward provides a catalyst for larger reforms in the future.”

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