Jen Metzger on criminal justice reform

Posted 10/25/20

Sen. Jen Metzger (SD-42) responds to Mike Martucci's claims about criminal justice reform, specfiically bail reform, which has been a focal point of his entire campaign:

"I want to start by saying …

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Jen Metzger on criminal justice reform

Posted

Sen. Jen Metzger (SD-42) responds to Mike Martucci's claims about criminal justice reform, specifically bail reform, which has been a focal point of his entire campaign:

"I want to start by saying there has not been an honest conversation about the criminal justice reforms that have been passed. It's really been used for political and electoral gain, and information has been manipulated in ways that are just entirely inaccurate.

"My opponent has used examples of crimes that happened, blaming them on bail reform when they've had absolutely nothing to do with bail reform; like this case of this 11 year old. It was a horrible, tragic story, but it was a drive-by shooting in Troy, and it was widely reported that it had nothing to do with bail reform. Yet, he brought it up as a key example in one of the candidate forums we had.

"There's a lot of fear-mongering going around, saying that violence is going to spread. To the contrary, U.S. News and World Report just issued their list of the safest counties in the country. Three counties in the top 10 were in the Hudson Valley—in the country, we're talking about.

"It's very easy to play on people's fears. It's very easy to misrepresent the issue. But it's a real disservice, because I think people are being very misinformed about it.

"Essentially, the reforms sought to address an essential unfairness, and I don't think it was polarizing. I've talked to law enforcement who agreed that this was a problem. How much money you have should not determine whether you await your court date in jail or at home. You get a situation where someone like Harvey Weinstein, who has been charged with rape, can pay his bail and go home. It's not like that's a safer system either. So it sought to address that—make the system fairer. Bail reform was just one component of it: there was recovery reform, speedy trial reform—all meant to make the system fairer and more efficient."

Metzger also said that, after the initial reforms were passed, she talked with local law enforcement about their concerns and brought their reactions back to Albany to amend the law accordingly.

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