Criminal Justice Reform
We can create a truly more just system in New York.
Throughout New York State, the rights of poor people and communities of color are often ignored or worse, outright violated. More than 90 percent of the people living within the 39th Assembly district are people of color (Latinos, South and East Asian, and African American). Over 60 percent of the residents in the district are undocumented or have another form of non-citizen immigrant status. And most people in our community live on or below the poverty line. As it exists, the entire criminal justice system targets poor communities of color from beginning to end. Last year we passed landmark legislation to end cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent offenses and changing discovery procedures to help create a more level playing field. This year, political maneuvers led to the roll-back decades of work, but we continue to fight. In order to create a truly just system we must:
• Legalize Marijuana, to help curtail the mass incarceration of poor people of color
• Fight back and ensure a true end to the cash bail bond system, so that we can end a discriminatory policy that results in poor defendants incarcerated for crimes that have yet to be adjudicated.
• Provide effective and adequate legal representation by passing legislation that lowers the case cap and increase funding for legal services, ensuring that indigent defendants receive adequate and effective legal representation.
• Create a truly independent prosecutor for police misconduct and to investigate the death of civilians at the hands of police. Currently, there is a Governor’s Executive Order enabling the Attorney General to act as special prosecutor (an elected politician that can be influenced by special interests and an order that can be reversed at any time).