Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning) joined his Assembly and Senate Minority colleagues, family members of crime victims, victims’ rights advocates and members of law enforcement for a press conference on Monday to call for increased public safety measures throughout the state and a reversal of New York’s previously passed bail reform and discovery laws. Tammy Patrick, daughter of murder victim John Lee, shared the tragic loss of her father at the event, who was killed by an individual out due to the state’s bail reform laws, despite committing a violent assault of strangulation just a day earlier.
“We grieve with the family of John Lee and the thousands of other crime victims and their family members across our state,” said Palmesano. “Stories just like this have become far too common, repeat offenders fear no recourse within our criminal justice system. I urge the governor and my colleagues in the Majority lawmakers to put themselves in the shoes of crime victims and finally put the interests of public safety, crime victims and their families ahead of dangerous and violent criminals.”
Palmesano and his Minority colleagues proposed the ‘Restore Order Anti-Crime Initiative’ during the last legislative session, common-sense legislation that would enact immediate criminal justice reform. The package includes returning judicial discretion to state judges when assessing the danger an individual presents to the community and parole reform which would require a unanimous vote by the parole board in granting a prisoner early release.
“New York is the only state in the nation that does not allow for judicial discretion to consider the dangerousness of an individual before releasing them back into the public. This is a miscarriage of justice and puts all our families and communities at increased risk of violence from repeat offenders. The inability of judges to hold violent individuals on bail, paired with reckless parole board decisions to release dangerous prisoners (cop killers, child rapists and murderers, and others) early, has caused increased crime rates. By requiring a unanimous vote of the parole board, we will see a decrease in prisoners getting early release, and a board more responsible to the public they serve.
“The governor often says public safety is her top priority. In a recent Siena poll, 93% of New Yorkers believe crime and public safety is a top concern and must be addressed. The governor and the Assembly and Senate Majorities talk about the importance of public safety, but their actions have rung hollow. The public safety of our residents should not be a political sideshow. People want and need to feel safe in their community, but they do not. The legislative Majorities need to listen to the calls of crime victims, their advocates, members of law enforcement and local officials across our state calling on Albany to take action on this crime crisis. It is past time we restore order and bring a sense of safety back to our communities,” concluded Palmesano.