ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Republican lawmakers addressed public safety once again at the Capitol on Monday. Our Capitol Correspondent Amal Tlaige was there and breaks down the latest on what changes lawmakers would like to see and what the victim of a slain father had to say about bail reform.
Tammy Patrick’s father, John Lee was killed in June of 2022, by Thomas Quillan who was arrested and charged with assault just 24 hours before killing Lee. Quillan was released without bail. Patrick says if judges had more discretion – like they did in years prior – then her father would still be alive today. “It is suspected that he started a fire in a back shed to lure my dad out of his home. My dad came out to retrieve the house and extinguish the fire. The suspect that attacked my dad, stabbing him many times and cutting his throat causing the end of life,” said Patrick.
Lawmakers said this is just one tragedy that’s a result of bail reform. Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said laws like Raise the Age, Bail Reform and The Halt Act are too radical. “They start way, way, way to the left, so to get them back into moderation is taking a tremendous amount of effort to do, but we’re gonna continue to do what we do here today, bring terrible stories to light so people understand how this is affecting real New Yorkers and hopefully we’ll get change,” he said.
Barclay also said Democrats claim Republicans are fear-mongering, but he said the numbers from various police agencies don’t lie. “From 2019 to 2022, New York City shootings rose by 66%, murders at that same time period in New York City rose by 37%, in Syracuse shootings are up 71%, in Buffalo homicides are up 45%, in Rochester during the same time period, homicides are up 124%,” said Barclay.
Republicans want to see judicial discretion on all offenses, not just serious crimes. They also want to implement a bail review process. “At the Appellate Division, the East Appellate Department, any number of ways to have a faster and more thorough bail review process rather than just saying ‘no bail.’ Let’s make sure that the bail that is set is reasonable and rational,” said NY State Senator, Thomas O’Mara.