SAN JUAN, PR — Mayor-elect Eric Adams said Friday that one of his top priorities would be getting Albany lawmakers to modify the state’s controversial bail reform to give judges more discretion in remanding repeat offenders and those busted with firearms.
The law was championed by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who has shown little interest in making changes to the measure, which requires the release of most non-violent offenders and provides frustrated judges little discretion for dealing with those who are quickly rearrested on new charges.
“At a minimum, we need to re-examine not giving discretion to judges,” Adams told reporters at an event during the annual SOMOS conference in Puerto Rico, which is a favorite getaway for the state’s political class. “
You can’t have a person discharge a weapon on Monday, back on the street on Tuesday carrying another gun,” the ex-cop said.
Adams position is virtually the same as the one advocated by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was largely ignored by Albany lawmakers on a host of issues, including this one.
“We’ve noticed a number of cases where people have been extremely dangerous, they’re been out the next day and it is really creating a public safety issue,” Adams said. “We have to be safe and I just don’t believe people who are dangerous in our city should be out the next day and then go back to the communities that they’ve been traumatizing.”
He added: “It’s sending the wrong message on the ground; there’s a real energy out there that we’re not serious about possession of a gun.”
He said the issue would be a top priority for him when lobbying for the city’s needs during state budget negotiations in Albany next year with Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Democratic-led state Legislature.