FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM FEBRUARY 27, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 31
oped letters & comments
New York state bail
reform needs a quick fi x
BY MICHAEL D.
While I understand the
noble ambitions of those
who support bail reform,
which took eff ect in New
York state on Jan. 1, many
in the law enforcement and
security fi elds remain deeply
concerned that we’ve pushed the criminal justice
pendulum too far in the other direction.
We must continue to address social problems like
prison overcrowding and equality in our court system,
but we must restore the discretion judges have
always been aff orded when it comes to imposing bail.
If we require judges to adhere to strict and rigid bail
guidelines, then we also run the risk of encouraging
Th ere have already been some examples of this,
and we’ve barely scratched the 2020 calendar:
• In Brooklyn, a woman accused of attacking three
Orthodox Jewish women was set free, only to
commit a similar off ense a day later.
• In Westbury, L.I., a 26-year-old man arrested for
a burglary spree committed another burglary just
hours aft er his release.
• In Island Park, L.I., a woman with a history of a
variety of crimes was released four times in seven
days, even though her family pleaded she be
remanded because of her mental issues.
• In the Albany area, a suspect with a habit of robbing
banks (a federal off ense) was released without
bail aft er — you guessed it — robbing a bank.
• On Jan. 9, a habitual bank robber was set free
from yet another charge because he used a note
instead of a gun to pull off his latest deed.
Legally, the purpose of bail is not to punish, but
to ensure that suspects return for scheduled court
proceedings. But this is exactly where judges and
prosecutors require discretion. If a suspect is likely
to commit crimes aft er being released, it’s not
a stretch to believe he or she might fl ee and not
return to court to face the original or subsequent
In recent days, both Governor Cuomo, Mayor
de Blasio, and the state Senate leadership (all
Democrats), have begun pushing for changes in
the new law. Supporters of bail reform say a few
high-profi le cases are being sensationalized and
do not account for those who will be responsible
and return to face charges for the crimes of which
Th at might be the case, but it still doesn’t allow
judges and district attorneys to protect the public
from likely recidivists. Th ey need the ability to consider
numerous factors in a suspect’s case, including
prior arrest record, risk of fl ight, and cognitive
ability. Fortunately, returning this power to judges
a priority among some Democrats.
In its current form, bail reform in New York state
attempts to swing the criminal justice pendulum
too far, and it puts the public at risk.
Th e new rules also aff ect victims and witnesses
and their safety. Th ey also impede law enforcement’s
ability to conduct proper and oft en complex
investigations which require more than 15 days, the
time new law gives them to hand over evidence.
What’s required is a more measured response to
the social problems we all agree must be solved.
Michael D. Sapraicone is a retired fi rst-grade NYPD
detective and CEO of Squad Security Inc., a global
protective services agency based on Long Island.
APOLOGIZE TO NYPD
NYPD Commissioner Dermot
Shea blamed anti-police rhetoric for
the recent attempted assassination
of cops in the Bronx’s 41st Precinct
(New York Post, 02/11/20).
One source of that rhetoric is City
Councilman Rory Lancman (D-24th
District), who has assailed cops since
becoming chairman of the Council’s
Justice System Committee.
He accused police of racial profi
ling in fare beating arrests. Fare
beating is a crime costing the MTA
$300 million a year. It hurts service
for riders of all races, including his
constituents. Some of those arrested
carried concealed weapons and
faced outstanding warrants for violent
Lancman condemned the MTA’s
Criminal Database which led to the
arrests and prosecution of violent
street gang members. Should the
cops use a list of suspects approved
by the ACLU instead?
He backed the bail reform bill that
puts violent repeat off enders back
on the streets to menace civilians &
police. Lancman is part of a legion
of lunatic legislators who want to
empty all jails. He owes cops and his
constituents an apology. I await his
Richard Reif, Kew Gardens Hills
THE MTA IS AT
Th e MTA is at it again! Th ey have
now proudly released their Draft
Plan: Route Profi les at new.mta.info/
For some, especially those of us on
the 21st Street Corridor of Astoria/
Long Island City, it is an unmitigated
disaster, especially for the already
underserved ADA and stroller community.
In their proposed revision of the
bus system in Queens, they are
completely removing bus access to
Queens Plaza and Queensborough
Plaza for everyone living along the
21st Street corridor.
Th e Q69 will no longer turn left
aft er the bridge. Th e MTA claims
access to the 7, but you will have to
walk up from 21st Street and Bridge
Th e Q66 no longer comes from
Woodside to Queensborough Plaza
and Queens Plaza, and its replacement
goes to Roosevelt Island. Th is
will prove to be a hardship for everyone
who uses the Q66 to get to
either the Queensbridge F stop or
goes to QP or QBP. Th e Q100 just
Not only do they have no ADA and
stroller access to the N/W in Astoria,
they are removing our ADA access to
the elevator at Queens Plaza.
Residents along 21st Street will
not have a single bus going to QP
and QBP as this proposal stands.
Th is will adversely aff ect everyone
who lives along 21st Street and commutes
to Queensborough Plaza and
Th e end result is that if anyone
requires ADA access and lives along
21st Street, the only option is the F at
Queensbridge. Need the N/Q/R/W
or 7? Oops. Sorry. Take a Lyft !
An additional loss is the ability
of anyone living along the 21st
Street corridor to connect to the bus
lines that go into Manhattan from
Queens Plaza North.
Th ere is a provision to comment
on each line proposal on the web
page. We must do exactly that and
spread the word however we can.
Marc M., Astoria
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