Election Results Show Support for Criminal Justice Reforms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2020
Contact: Jason Kaplan | kaplan@skdknick.com

AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF BAD-FAITH ATTACKS AND DEMAGOGUERY, CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM THRIVES AT THE BALLOT BOX AS VOTERS REJECT SPURIOUS ATTACKS

NYUJ Hails Winning Campaigns On Long Island, Brooklyn, & Elsewhere As Supporters Of Reforms Declare Victory

Today, Alexander Horwitz, Executive Director of New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ) —a bipartisan coalition of local and national non-profit organizations that promote fair and safe criminal justice reforms—issued the following statement in response to Democrats prevailing in races across New York State.

“For two years, opponents of criminal justice reform have engaged in bad-faith arguments based on flawed data, fearmongering, and, too often, outright lies to scare New York voters. While votes are still out in several legislative races, one matter is becoming clearer by the day as wins are notched across Long Island and West Brooklyn: that New York voters in the suburbs, cities and rural areas alike believe in reforming a flawed criminal justice system as a bedrock value. It’s also clear to voters that fixes to the system that make New York fairer and safer deserve a chance to succeed.

“In this election cycle, we saw $5 million poured into ads that vilified common-sense reforms —  reforms that sought only to ensure that the rich and the poor weren’t treated differently by the justice system. We also saw a police union pour a million dollars of their members’ dues into a late-breaking campaign that viciously attacked a lawmaker dedicated to making his community safer.

“It didn’t work. Their campaign of fear and lies failed. Truth, safety, and fairness has prevailed. And when the votes are all tallied, what will be obvious to everyone is that a few candidates and their donors who opposed common-sense reforms wasted huge sums of money and all New Yorkers’ time and attention.. It’s time for those opponents of criminal justice reform to take a look at themselves — and their values.  Was their total failure worth a scorched-earth attempt to erode what New Yorkers believe in? Did their enormous spending and campaign of fear change the fact that common sense criminal justice reform is a bipartisan issue — which in most localities is actually supported by law enforcement?  Of course not.

“The takeaway here is that New Yorkers clearly trust their lawmakers when they support thoughtful legislative solutions to fix flaws in the justice system. It’s time to finish counting the votes and get back to the work of building a better, safer, fairer justice system for the great State of New York.”