New York State will enact new prison bail reform next year. The reform, which takes effect on January 1, 2020, will eliminate cash bail as well as pretrial detention for misdemeanor and non-violent offenses. In addition, it is reported that the reform will result in the release of hundreds of inmates.
WGRZ 2 On Your Side recently reported that there is some push back and criticism of New York State’s upcoming prison reform. Specifically, President Donald Trump criticized New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on Twitter regarding the prison reform.
WGRZ interviewed attorney Barry Covert to provide legal analysis on the prison bail reform. In addition, WGRZ’s story included comments from New York State Senators Patrick Gallivan and Tim Kennedy, who have opposing viewpoints regarding the upcoming reform.
Federal Agents recently raided Buffalo City Hall. FBI agents along with agents from the investigative arm of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conducted what was described as “court authorized activities” for over eight hours inside Buffalo City Hall.
As reported by WGRZ, the raid was for the execution of a court authorized search warrant. The FBI would not disclose what they were looking for or what the raid was connected to. However, the activity focused primarily on the Office of Strategic Planning, which is located on the third floor of Buffalo City Hall.
Several agents worked behind a guarded closed door for over eight hours. News cameras captured federal agents removing several carts containing boxes of documents covered in tarps. A spokesperson for the FBI indicated that, as part of the search warrant, agents spoke with a number of people who work in the Office of Strategic Planning.
Attorney Barry Covert was interview by WGRZ 2 On Your Side to provide legal analysis for their coverage of the case of Jonathan White. Jonathan White was accused of setting his ex-girlfriend on fire outside of a Tim Hortons in Tonawanda in December 2018.
A jury recently found Jonathan White guilty of attempted murder and assault.
As reported by WGRZ, the victim in this case, Jessica Cameron, took the witness stand during the trial. She provided testimony on her relationship with the defendant as well as the events of the day of the assault. Jessica Cameron suffered burns to her face, head, and hands. She spent several months being treated in ECMC’s burn unit and she is still recovering from her injuries.
The jury made numerous request for information as they deliberated the case. WGRZ reports that during deliberations, the jury sent three notes to the judge. The first note requested video surveillance footage. A second note asked for Jonathan White’s cross examination and redirect testimony. A third note requested images of the scene of the assault. In addition, the jury asked for clarification on the definitions of intent and the attempted murder charge. Shortly thereafter, the jury returned with a guilty verdict.
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