AOC, Other House Dems Press NYC Prosecutors On Excessive Bail For Prisoners

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Dems on the House Oversight Committee want more information from NYC’s District Attorneys and have suggested that excessive Bail and other factors keep prisoners in jail for longer than necessary. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio -Cortez, Jamie Raskin, and Carolyn Maloney said they are concerned that excessive bail amounts lead to unnecessary Pretrial. She said they also contribute to the humanitarian crises in NYC’s jail system.

The members asked for briefings from Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn DA’s and have requested that all misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies be heard again.

They warned that federal intervention could be required to safeguard detainees against additional harm if certain conditions were not addressed.

House Dems pointed out that nearly three-quarters of the nearly 6000 Rikers prisoners had not been tried and that high bail amounts lead to a two-tiered justice system. Those who are able to afford bail can escape the harsh conditions at detention facilities while those who can’t afford bail are forced into a permanent position.

According to reports from the New York Police Department, overall crime increased by nearly 3% in September 2021, compared to last year. Robberies rose by 6%, while overall crime rose by almost 33% in September 2021. The city experienced an 11.2% increase in overall index crime in October compared to last year and the number of gun arrests rose 13.9%. Murders and shootings decreased slightly. These letters are part of a larger push to reform different aspects of the criminal justice system.

The issue was again brought up as more information was released about Darrell Brooks. Brooks is suspected of driving his SUV into a Waukesha parade this weekend and was released earlier this month after an inappropriately low bail recommendation.

Brooks is currently involved in multiple cases in Milwaukee County, which includes a 2020 case involving second-degree recklessly endangering, as well as being a felon possessing a firearm.