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Congressman Lawler Urges NY Governor Hochul to Overhaul ‘Dangerous’ Criminal Justice Laws, Calls for End to Cashless Bail and Enactment of Life Sentences for Killing Law Enforcement

Today, Congressman Mike Lawler (NY-17) sent a letter to New York Governor Kathy Hochul demanding the scrapping of New York’s dangerous criminal justice laws. Specifically, Congressman Lawler took aim at cashless bail, the lack of a dangerousness standard or judicial discretion in bail hearings, and the release of cop killers by the New York State Board of Parole.

Additionally, Congressman Lawler urged the Governor to support the enactment of a new law mandating life without the possibility of parole, pardon, or clemency for killing a law enforcement officer, first responder, corrections officer, or court officer. As a New York State Assemblyman, Lawler had authored a bill requiring this.

“Cashless bail has proved disastrous for public safety, allowing violent criminals to roam freely. Since cashless bail took effect, over 40% of individuals released on non-monetary bail for violent felonies have been rearrested while their charges are pending. Too many tragedies have been a direct result of this policy, and it is abhorrent to keep it in place,” Congressman Lawler wrote. “Along with the repeal of cashless bail, enacting a dangerousness standard and providing judges with judicial discretion when setting bail is crucial. It is critical that judges have the flexibility to consider community safety when calculating risk of release. If a violent offender is determined to pose a danger to New Yorkers, they must be held while awaiting trial. It is simply beyond comprehension why this is not the case today.”

“The glaring crime statistics, the lack of security in our community, and the lack of support given to our law enforcement officers is unquestionably creating problems of morale and retention at a time when we need them most,” Congressman Lawler concluded. “These public servants put their lives on the line everyday, and they deserve the full support they need in order to do their jobs and keep us all safe. New Yorkers do not feel safe. Under Democratic leadership in Albany, crime has gone unchecked. It is past time for action and for meaningful change. I urge you to address these failures and reverse course to allow New Yorkers to feel secure in their communities.”

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