A protest over state bail reform laws in Times Square...

A protest over state bail reform laws in Times Square in 2020. Credit: Sipa USA via AP / Gabriele Holtermann-Gorden

A closer look at NY bail law numbers

A state report says only 2.4% of defendants are rearrested later on a violent felony since the bail reform law was passed [“New data on state bail law,” News, July  31]. That would be great if it’s totally true.

When Lee Zeldin was attacked by a man with a weapon, it was classified as nonviolent since there was no injury. So, criminals who use weapons get to go free because no one was hurt, and the state gets to brag about how little violent crime there is.

If someone pointed a gun at you or pulled a knife on you, wouldn’t you consider that a violent act?

 — Gregg Freedner, Ronkonkoma

  

It’s nice to write about the statistics regarding recidivism among criminals leaving an injury count every day in New York. Boiling it down to “1 out of 6” is also a nice touch, as if it’s good news for State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers).

It’s all well and good unless it’s you or your family member who’s injured, mugged, robbed or assaulted. A 1-out-of-6 risk is more than a “black swan” event.

 — Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, Great Neck

  

I find the article misleading. Bail reform analysis on rearrests is a red herring. The analysis should focus squarely on crime rates after bail reform. New York City is seeing a 27.8% increase. It’s incomprehensible.

Even if we look at the bail reform data, any increase in rearrests, no matter how “small,” is dangerous. It means another illegal act was allegedly committed with yet another victim.

Just because someone is not rearrested does not mean they are not continuing to commit crime. It’s possible they just haven’t been caught.

A question to ask: How has the percentage of bench warrants increased in bail reform as per the number of bail cases? Bail reform is, in essence, a get-out-of-jail-free card. How many defendants are absconding from appearing in court, wasting police resources to track them down?

I see this interpretation of the data as a poor attempt to find a silver lining in bail reform. Bail is a necessary component to an effective criminal justice system.

 — Leonard Rivera, Westbury

It’s interesting how, buried in the last paragraph, is the statistic that 22% are rearrested when a defendant is released on his own recognizance, and 33% for those on supervised release. Bail reform is a disaster. Statistics bear this out.

 — Joe Kennedy, Syosset

LIPA needs PSEG out as grid middleman

The kerfuffle over testing PSEG Long Island’s customer outage monitoring system just distracts from the long-term solutions to our power woes: getting the middleman, PSEG, out of the picture, and letting the Long Island Power Authority build renewable energy generation and storage and improve its grid efficiency [“New LIPA concerns,” News, July 27].

To achieve the first goal, I applaud Assemb. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) and State Sen. Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown), who are chairing the new commission that’s studying making LIPA a public utility.

To achieve the second goal, LIPA needs to free itself from the fossil fuel price fluctuations that drive up electric rates and go all in on wind and solar. For that, we need the NIMBYs to get out of the way, and for Gov. Kathy Hochul to continue her support for renewable energy.

Unless we address long-term solutions to the climate crisis, customer outages here and there will seem like quaint problems of the past.

 — Kathleen Boziwick, Sag Harbor

Pass Senate bill to help our climate

For those of us who believe that the climate crisis is an urgent priority, it has been a frustrating couple of years. President Joe Biden’s climate agenda died in Congress as Build Back Better bit the dust, and the Supreme Court gutted key powers of the Environmental Protection Agency to limit carbon emissions.

We have become so accustomed to disappointment, that there was universal surprise at the deal reached between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.  Va.) on the new Inflation Reduction Act [“Party differences on $739B pact,” News, Aug. 1].

This legislative package would fund the largest federal investments yet in clean energy development and consumer incentives to go green.

Will it actually pass? Can we shed our despair about curbing greenhouse gas emissions on a national scale? Our children and grandchildren depend on such bold action as our futures depend on these initial steps. I am daring to hope so.

 — Alden J. Pearl, Valley Stream

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