MEETING OUTLINES BAIL REFORM AND ASSOCIATED PROBLEMS

The North Franklin Ministerial Association held an informational session Monday at the Centenary United Methodist Church in Malone, to provide more details about the new state bail reform laws. Many who attended were more than a little surprised at what they learned and just what crimes people now will be issued appearance tickets for, instead of being jailed in lieu of bail, under the new state laws. Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill spoke about the bail reform law that took effect January 1st. Mulverhill handed out an eight-page document listing the crimes for which judges would be prevented from imposing bail. Many of those who attended the meeting were nothing short of stunned. The reform act pushed through by Governor Andrew Cuomo, eliminates bail for all misdemeanor and nonviolent felonies and requires district attorneys to turn over all discovery material — evidence the prosecution has uncovered related to the offense — as well as the names and contact information of witnesses within 15 days of the suspect’s arraignment. Republicans in Albany are calling for implementation of the law to be postponed. Now, even Cuomo admits the law may require some fine-tuning. Some Democrats however, accuse those opposing the new law of “fear-mongering.” Next week, Sheriff Mulverhill, along with about 50 other New York sheriffs, will be traveling to Albany to voice their opposition to the bail reform law. Mulverhill says the reforms will hurt more people than they will help. He is now encouraging anyone who is against the bail reform law to contact their local legislators.