As GOP Assembly, Senate Pushes to Return to a Broken Status-Quo, Criminal Justice Reform Experts Hold the Line on Need for Criminal Reform As Political Attacks Continue, New Yorkers United for Justice Releases Statement Setting the Record Straight

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 15, 2020
Contact: 
Melissa Mansfield | mmansfield@skdknick.com

As GOP Assembly, Senate Pushes to Return to a Broken Status-Quo, Criminal Justice Reform Experts Hold the Line on Need for Criminal Reform   

As Political Attacks Continue, New Yorkers United for Justice Releases Statement Setting the Record Straight 

***NYUJ Leadership Available for Interview*** 

NEW YORK – After Assembly Republicans cynically pushed for a full repeal of New York’s two-week-old criminal justice reform laws, New Yorkers United for Justice released the following statement from chief strategist Khalil A. Cumberbatch to push back on politically motivated attacks from Republicans, address why criminal justice reform is critical and how reforms make our state safer and fairer:

“Despite a wave of misinformation and fear-mongering by bad-faith opponents of much-needed criminal justice reform who are defending a broken status-quo, the facts are clear: criminal justice reform means a safer, fairer New York.  Majority Leader Stewart Cousins, Speaker Heastie and Governor Cuomo did the right thing by enacting important, proven reforms last year. Nothing and no one can change the fact that a different justice system for the rich and the poor is wrong – and I am frankly shocked that Senate and Assembly Republicans so obviously and cynically disagree with that fundamental value. It means a less safe, less fair New York. These reforms contain broadly popular measures — across regional and political lines — that millions of reasonable New Yorker agree on. Apparently, many Albany Republicans are not among those New Yorkers. My question to them is, aside from fearmongering and ripping pages from a stale playbook, what’s your plan to fix a broken system?”

“Many of these reforms were already in effect locally before they were passed statewide – and they are working. Look no further than Kings County: DA Eric Gonzalez stopped asking for bail for the majority of misdemeanors three years ago and violent crime is down 18%. If it can work in Kings County, it can work in anywhere. New York’s two neighboring suburban states, New Jersey and Connecticut, reformed bail over the past few years and have seen crime rates continue to fall. New York State will benefit in the same ways.

“These new, common-sense, in-the-mainstream laws are under a month old, and have largely been deemed failures by those with a political agenda before they’ve had a chance to be successful. This is wrong. Their effect must be measured by lawmakers and law enforcement using data over the next several months. That is how states determine if laws are effective. If lawmakers decide, based on hard data, that rational technical fixes are necessary to perfect the legislation – changes that improve both fairness and safety together, without sacrificing either – then that will play out exactly where it should, not through hysterical statements and media designed to frighten people, but in the legislature.”

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