Gov. Andrew Cuomo Addresses Concerns Over New York State Bail Reform

New York State’s new criminal justice reform is continuing to capture media attention.  Attorney Barry Covert was interviewed by WGRZ 2 On Your Side to provide legal analysis for their latest report on the new law.

As detailed in a previous post, New York State will enact new prison bail reform, which will eliminate cash bail for misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses.  The criminal justice reform bill passed both houses of the state legislature, was signed in to law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and is schedule to take effect on January 1, 2020.

However, the new bail reform has generated criticism from law enforcement and elected officials in New York State.  Although the changes have created push back from law enforcement, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has defended the reform.

Gov. Cuomo was recently in Western New York and WGRZ asked him to address the opposition to bail reform. In response to criticism of the new reform, Gov. Cuomo stated “change is often opposed by the system”.  Gov. Cuomo went on to comment that the state of New Jersey instituted similar reform a few years ago and “it brought more justice to the system.”

WGRZ reported that the reforms are projected to save tax payers money as well.  Critics from across New York State, including law enforcement and elected officials, argue the changes in the criminal justice reform pose a risk to public safety. WGRZ states that those who are opposed to the bail reform are still fighting for the legislature to take a second look at the law before the New Year.

In the report, Gov. Cuomo stated “It was passed in to law. I don’t believe the legislature is at all interested in slowing down the effective date. I think they think it’s long overdue.”

Attorney Barry Covert provided legal analysis for this latest report on New York State’s prison bail reform.  Read below for Barry Covert’s comments to WGRZ and click the video to watch WGRZ’s full report, which includes Barry Covert’s legal analysis.

In an interview with WGRZ, Barry Covert stated “I have full faith in our sheriff departments and in our district attorneys’ offices. I’m sure that it’s a lot of work to change to this new program. But, I really believe in their competence and I believe that they can certainly get it instituted by January 1st.”

Mr. Covert was reported as saying that in many ways New York State is catching up to what some other states are already doing. Barry Covert concluded by stating “When you have young individuals, individuals who are 19, 20, and they get incarcerated with hardened criminals who are violent criminals, that’s what does the damage.”