new york zero bail reform experiment
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In most of the nation, setting bail not only helps ensure criminals make their court dates, but also serves as a deterrent to more criminal activity. After all, one can’t victimize innocent, law-abiding Americans when you’re in jail. And being re-arrested while you’re waiting for trial might just forfeit your bond.

New York State, however, has a new “no cash bail” law that took effect January 1 (because posting bail is racist or classist or something). The results have not been pretty.

Stories about of serial bad guys repeatedly walking out of jail without posting a thin dime for bail.  Only to commit more crimes.  From the New York Post:

Robbery is up almost 30% in New York City since the first of the year. Is this a statistical blip, a trend — or a New Year’s bail-reform gift from Albany, robbery now largely being a revolving-door offense in the Empire State?

Time will tell, but consider this as well: According to the latest NYPD stats, the number of shooting victims in the city is up 31% since New Year’s Day — so at the very least Gotham appears to be off to a rocky 2020 compared to last year.

Which should not surprise: Not only does government usually get more of what it encourages, when it comes to crime, it also gets more of what it fails to discourage.

Sad to say, New York falls down on both counts.


One judge refused to abide by the new law and held a bad guy on $10,000 cash bail anyway. Of course, the judge was over-ruled. And the bad guy? He left jail with an ankle monitor…only to chop it off and run away Scot free. Really.

From the New York Post.

A Long Island judge intentionally ignored the state’s controversial bail-reform law and refused to release a defendant he deemed a “menace to society,” The Post has learned.

Nassau County District Judge David McAndrews admitted in court that accused two-time bank robber Romell Nellis wasn’t charged with a “bondable or bail offense” — but still ordered him held on $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond.

“I don’t want you walking around my neighborhood,” McAndrews told Nellis, according to a transcript of the Jan. 9 hearing in Hempstead.

But McAndrew’s principled stand was short-lived, as a higher-level judge promptly reversed his order and released Nellis with an ankle monitor — only to have him cut it off and disappear.

Then there’s the guy who allegedly kept committing bank robberies, one after another, dumbfounded that New York kept letting him out of jail after each arrest.

Finally, after six arrests, the feds took the case. It’s the latest in progressive criminal justice reform.

Bail “reform” has been such a rousing success in the Empire State that others are flirting with various degrees of the same policy. States like…wait for it…California and Illinois, for example.

These new soft-on-crime social justice “reforms” don’t lower crime. In fact, they have precisely the opposite effect as has been so clearly demonstrated in New York since the first of the year.

These bail “reform” social justice experiments should serve the latest of many reasons to carry your personal defense tools with you each and every day. Assuming you live in a jurisdiction where that’s allowed.

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  1. Back before he wanted to dictator, err I mean President Mike “gun grabber” Bloomberg was at least tough on crime. However, now that he wants be the Democrat nominee he has repudiated his crime fighting past and embraced the California way.

  2. We need more ‘Magnum Force’ officers and ‘Death Wish’ advocates to roam the streets of NYC. Maybe a few dead momma’s boys (THUGS) would start to change their minds. If it does not change their minds, there will still be fewer of them

    • Sorry, we DON’T NEED DEATH SQUADS. Every single place it’s been tried has been a disaster. We we need is law enforcement, backed up by courts and prisons, and if necessary , the death penalty. Or not. The beauty of democracy is that a majority of the people get what they want, by what or who they vote for. New York, are you happy yet? If so, Congratulations! You got what you wanted. In not, don’t blame me, I voted for the other guy.

      • Your wrong, we need death squads.

        When government fails its primary duty of providing security as ours is currently doing…in every conceivable way…vigilantism is what you’ll always get.

        • This is true. However the process of picking those representatives is a democratic process, where the candidates promise to give the people what they want.

      • Death squads are effective. Especially when they target criminals and commies rather than innocent people.

    • Got enough scum shooting people through windows, shooting kids, and stabbing dogs. Defund the blue gang and restore law and order by empowering we the people to defend ourselves and our property.

    • Judges and police that will not enforce the law, not a mayors edict, should be removed from office by federal prosecutors . The first and most basic duty is to enforce law and protect the public safety.

  3. The Leftard party cares not one whit for law-abiding Americans,their goal is to destroy the supreme law of the land, the Constitution and throw Americans to the wolves.

  4. I was a bail bonding agent and also did bail recovery for 3.5 years. Getting rid of private bonding companies doesn’t work. Not only does it release bad actors sooner, the failures to appear in court go up exponentially. If someone doesn’t appear in court then the whole justice process is halted until the defendant is brought before the judge and does a disservice to the victims. Bonding companies are incentivized (because it’s their money tied up at time of the defendants release from jail) to bring that person back to court. The government isn’t. The criminal justice system as whole isn’t about racism. It’s about money. If you have money, you’ll have a better outcome. However, these compassionate politicians have made almost everything a crime in the last 20 years.

    • In the county where I live, there was a sheriff years ago… he’d give bonuses to deputies for the most arrests, etc. Across the street from the jail there was exactly one bail bond company. The sheriff owned the bail bond company.

      • All the more reason to abolish them.

        The overwhelming majority of people in a homogeneous western society mind their own business and don’t infringe on others. Remove the diversity and ridiculous drug laws and you remove just about all need for policing.

  5. I’m on the fence on this one, to be honest. One of my relatives was arrested at one time in the past and charged with a felony rape. He couldn’t afford bail (the rest of us pitched in to help with an attorney), and therefore sat behind bars for four months before his case went to trial due to the court’s overloaded schedule. And that rape charge was dropped due to the fact that it never happened, and the woman even admitted so early on. An innocent man sat behind bars for four months, lost his job, lost his reputation, and lost his trust in the system. All because the D.A. petitioned to have the bail set at six figures to coincide with the rape charge she “thought” was appropriate…until it turned out it never happened and it still took several weeks to make the dismissal work its way through the court system.

    • This is a perfect example of why both the alleged victim and prosecutor should be charged with false imprisonment, kidnapping and numerous other charges. At the least he should of received a fairly large settlement from the DAs office. Thinking you left parts of this story out.

      • You’re correct that I gave only a summarization, but the courts in SoCal are atrocious. In fact (and this is the truth), during one of the court appearances, the Bailiff on duty excused himself from the room for the remainder of the proceedings (another Deputy came in to take his place). That Bailiff later met us in the hallway to express his remorse at how poorly things were going for my relative due to the stark “brokenness” of the court’s gearworks. He could not formally apologize due to his station as an officer of the court, but he said our particular case, coupled with the brash attitude of the D.A., and capped off with the indifference of the presiding judge to present a more fair hearing, was too much for the Bailiff to bear without pursing his lips and silently shaking his head.

        One of my former co-workers was also arrested by LAPD some years ago after being accused of rape by his ex-girlfriend who was upset that he “dumped” her. He couldn’t afford bail and sat in jail for a month until the woman finally admitted there was never any non-consensual sex. He was released, but due to some details in the proceedings I don’t recall, she wasn’t liable for charges by him. He was angry because he lost four weeks of his life to imprisonment, and then lost his job when he got out, but couldn’t legally go after LAPD for false imprisonment or the ex-gf for false charges. Again, little details that screwed everything up.

      • TTAG / Dan Zimmerman,

        Yet again, the site is dumping my comments. This time, I tried posting my reply via two different browsers, and the site is reject them both. No HTML tags, no URL links, nothing. Just text.

        WordPress is screwing things up for the site.

        • Agreed, I found I couldn’t post to a specific article recently. In the past, I’ve had comments dumped.

          At first I figured TTAG adopted shadow banning, but I was able to post to other articles from the same author as well as view them from a separate network address. WordPress is always buggy and TMK, you can’t turn off updates for it. Its like windows 10, when they break it, they break it. (actually had a tablet bricked by a W10 update.)

      • Forget it. I tried re-wording my reply and re-submitting a total of six times. This is unbelievable. I simply cannot imagine what WordPress is blocking me for now.

        I’m going to take a break from TTAG for a few days. The site’s broken.

        • Are there trigger words for WordPress to reject posts? I know a post is rejected when I click the [Post Comment] button and screen jumps to the top instead of the new post.

        • “Are there trigger words for WordPress to reject posts?”

          Can TTAG publish that list?

        • I’ve noticed replying to some people or to some articles triggers moderation as well. Its all east bloc / behind the scenes right now and hard to know specifics.

    • Agreed. I have mixed feelings about the bail system.

      I kinda see it like assault weapons bans with grandfather clauses. The politicians say that these weapons are so extraordinarily dangerous that we need to ban them, but it’s ok for the millions currently in existence to not be touched. That is not consistent reasoning.

      Similarly, with bail, we are pretty sure you are a menace to society that needs to be locked up by default. But……. If you can come up with an arbitrary amount of money, suddenly we’re fine letting you roam free.

      I like incentivizing your appearance in court and freedom until you’re proven guilty, but neither the current system nor New York’s new system seem to be good systems.

    • Funny enough our regional gun stores are seeing quite a bit of new business. Nothing record setting but I think Summer will see a larger jump if the legislature doesn’t get oppressors remorse from the increasingly more apparent consequences.

  6. I knew about the ILLinois BS. Part of the Kim Foxx method. Anyone with the slightest bit of gray matter knows there’s a boatload of “people of color” & lower class thugs who love this crap. Dumbocrats for life-and death😩

  7. I can imagine that bail reform might — MIGHT — make sense for non-serious misdemeanors such as minor vandalism, jumping subway turnstiles, disorderly conduct, urinating in public, minor in possession of alcohol, possession of small amounts of narcotics, etc.

    I cannot begin to imagine how bail reform makes any sense for serious misdemeanors and felonies. Then again, policy doesn’t have to make sense for Progressives. Rather, policy simply has to tickle their feelings, fantasies, and whimsical notions of “virtue”.

    • Who would have thought criminals would commit crimes as soon as they are released?

      This is my shocked face. 😐

  8. I think it’s interesting that the handcuff picture isn’t of real handcuffs. They’re the children’s toy cuffs that open with a button, no key. It’s kind of appropriate for a story about not locking up criminals.

  9. I don’t need to see our justice system collapse to know that I should carry EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME!
    The justice system in this country is a fkn joke and has been since the countries founding….
    And i surely won’t obey any laws that infringe on my right to carry wherever I want, whenever I want…. come and take it if you think you’re man enough….. that’s what I say to the filthy, corrupt politicians in this country…. and that goes for any brainwashed pigs that want to come for it too!

  10. If crime and murder in particular are up in NY. That can be a good thing. Possibly a few less NYers moving here to Florida. Maybe a few crooks moving here. But thats not the worst thing NY has to give Florida.

  11. No cash bail done on purpose, because gun control! NoW the evil subhuman demonrats can scream “ITS THE GUNS STUPID!!!”
    Vigilante justice will be coming soon, you don’t think so?
    Wait until wife’s, daughters, and sisters are raped/assaulted/murdered, then the IN-justice system spits them back on the street to disappear to re-offend.

  12. I’m all for ankle monitors – of course their location and charges should also be broadcast publicly, we we understand who is next to us on the train.

    • Ankle monitor with built in stun gun or siren set off by cutting it strap would not be that hard to make.

      Bail seems to go from absurd amounts i.e. $1000 000 for just being in the area of Waco biker shootout. To nothing for robbery and homicide in Chicago. Unfortunately probably too political now to be ever fixed properly. But as noted above if your own money is not involved people don’t care.

  13. At this point, is it easier to be a criminal in these liberal strong holds than a productive member of society? Want to deal drugs, shit in public, and shoplift to your heart’s content? Go for it. You want to get get a good paying job, own a home and (legally) own a firearm for protection? Check your privilege, you vile bastard!

  14. NH was blessed with bail reform. Now all the chiefs and county attorneys are asking for it to be repealed after several incidents.

    Taking away everyone’s guns then opening all the jail cells seems like something a cartoon villain would do. Just typical democrat behavior.

  15. It’s going to have to get worse before it gets better. The day when people cannot leave their homes without an actual fear of something bad happening to them, the system completely failing, and nobody being armed (legally), it’ll change. Until then, we’ll push forward on the path of “enlightenment” and “progress” until progress stops. The irony of course is the progressive way forward is more regressive than anything else.

    • You need to try for a higher demographic. This fear is already in many poor black neighborhoods. Things will really change when “that” demographic feels that kind of fear.

  16. The problem with New York isn’t the elimination of cash bail, but the fact New York law doesn’t technically allow for the consideration of public safety when setting bail. If there’s good cause to believe a person is a threat to the community, it doesn’t magically become acceptable to release him because he can come up with $500. Similarly, if you can trust a defendant to show up for court and behave in the meantime, it doesn’t make much sense to keep him in jail at whatever dollars per day because he can’t afford the same amount.

  17. As I said before. You should be able to shoot thieves dead when you catch them. The Libertarians are really big supporters of bail reform. Just read Reason magazine. This is the utopia of the three L’s on steroids. In their upper class minds it’s not a crime to steal.

  18. Bail reform was intended to stop the government from keeping people in jail for low level offenses such as driving without a license and what-not for longer periods of time than the actual sentence for the crime itself,simply because they could not post bail. it was never intended for violent criminals.
    In my opinion the stupidity happening in New York is intentional on the part of pissed off law enforcement and criminal justice departments that profit greatly from collecting bond for low level offenses.

  19. I’m done feeding the loser trolls on TTAG.
    My life’s going great, how’s yours?
    You fan club basement dwellers need a life, a move out of mommies basement, and some mouthwash from all that salad tossing.

    • Just ignore the trolls. Just by the name of that one, the rest of us can see what is going on.

    • There’s an awful lot of daylight between 1,000 days locked up for allegedly stealing a backpack and letting 7 opioid dealers sitting on several million dollars walk out the door on personal recognizance.

      The real questions are why do none of the proposed reforms so far work within this daylight? Why are they always all-or-nothing extremes? Who is gaining what from applying a sledgehammer to a situation in need of delicate nuance?

    • I wish that the white Libertarians Liberals and the Left would do more documentaries about blacks being denied their 2A civil rights. White Conservatives have done more films about black gun civil rights and they have.

  20. “According to the latest NYPD stats, the number of shooting victims in the city is up 31% since New Year’s Day”
    Wow, no one told me NY repealed all its Draconian “Gun Control” laws and started giving out carry permits on New Years Day! I mean why else would have the number of shooting victims in the city gone up 31% [SARC].
    Seriously, I wonder how many of these were perpetrated by prohibited persons?

  21. You mean criminal unfettered releases? What will be done with them if a bench warrant is issued? It’s nonviolent so will they get no bail again? We now have certified morons running governments. Vigilantism?

  22. To all gun topic journalists and those who debate the 2nd Amendment……we need to start the offensive against anti-gun extremists…..and this is how it starts……from this point forward call the problem as it really is……our gun crime problem in the United States is created by the democrat party and their policies on crime and criminals. We need journalists and columnists to call it out……do articles and stories stating that our problem is due to the democrat party… I have story after story about democrat policies that allow repeat gun offenders out of prison….many from TTAG and other news organizations…from Seatle, Chicago, Baltimore, New Orleans, St. Louis, D.C…..someone has to start making the case, directly about the democrat party and gun crime………that is how we go on the offensive. Start naming the problem…the democrat party and their crime policies…..tie them together, directly……

    • I believe John Boch was doing just that (linking Democrat policy to violent crime) when his tires were getting slashed and he was getting death threats on a near daily basis. If he reads this he can correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Basically, you are right. The prisons and jails have a finite capacity. That capacity is filled; no vacancy. When that point is reached, prosecutors and judges must ration the available cells.

      Prosecutors plea-bargain to get a conviction on anything; whatever it takes to get the suspect to agree to plead guilty to the highest crime possible. The suspect figures that, if the Prosecutor is desperate enough, he will take the lowest crime possible. They meet somewhere between those two; a guilty plea on some moderately serious crime.

      The judge then has sentencing guidelines and offers the lowest possible sentence for the crime agreed to. Now, this newly convicted prisoner is taking up only a minimal amount of scarce resources. Maybe a few months in prison or just probation.

      The old expression: ‘If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime’ applies. The “price” for getting caught has dropped. Now, a rational criminal should become convinced that he really CAN do the time; so he is free to do the crime. Parole costs little to nothing. A prison sentence adds to his street cred and doesn’t hurt much.

      Even if criminals don’t rationalize in this way it remains the case that there are fewer criminal-years being served in prison for each criminal-year spent at liberty.

      Now that America has reached the point where it has the largest percentage of its population incarcerated, Americans are loath to continue to raise the rates. Perhaps it should; or it shouldn’t. Purely a political question. What is our collective “taste” for incarceration as a solution to crime?

      Meanwhile, criminals ought to rationalize that the “price” for pursuing a life of crime is dropping; and, dropping rapidly.

      Politically, I don’t think there is a way out of this mess. So long as a large enough percentage of the population is either complacent about crime or prefers to keep incarceration rates as low as possible, there will be no change in voter behavior.

      Voters who regard themselves as aligned with criminals will not change. Essentially, Progressives believe we can’t incarcerate our way out of this problem. This is a belief protected by the religion clause of the 1A.

      Voters who have not yet been touched by crime will continue to be complacent.

      The only solution I see is for each of us to protect ourselves. Harden our perimeters. Avoid foolish places at foolish times. And the usual preparation for contingencies . . . The collective remedy through government has ceased to work.

      Such individual initiative will shift criminal attention to: 1) the complacent – where it WILL have an impact; and, 2) Progressives – where it will have no impact.

      Tragically, change can only occur when people who refuse to learn from the experiences of others begin to learn from their own experience.

      • It occurs to me that the FBI’s data on crime rates in various categories ought to reveal the impact of “price” on “volume”.

        If the “price” of a crime – such as grand-theft auto – drops then the “volume” of THAT crime ought to be going up. And vice versa.

        Are rates of crimes in various categories going up or down over time? (Some go up, others go down, the data varies for reasons criminologists don’t understand well.)

        We observe, generally, that crime rates have been dropping since the early 1990’s. We need to be looking at the details carefully. If property crime rises then our individual attention ought to be directed at alarms and fencing. If assaults rise our individual attention ought to be given to avoiding foolish places at foolish times.

        Naturally, our greatest attention is drawn to homicide. Yet, we have a problem here. We know that roughly 80% of homicide is gang related, drug related. We aren’t in THAT “market”. (Couple of years ago a drug dealer operating a couple miles from my house killed four of his customers on the same day. Since I didn’t patronize his dealership, nor do I patronize his competitors, I am complacent about his behavior.) I have no means of altering my behavior in the hopes of reducing my chances of becoming a component of 80% of the homicide statistic.

        Some of the remaining 20% of homicide is, for example, domestic violence. My wife and I don’t participate in that behavior either. So, again, there is no opportunity to alter my behavior.

        Conceptually, the only people who have a meaningful opportunity to alter their behavior to reduce the homicide rate are those least amenable to self-motivation. If we don’t lock them up for their own protection they will tend to carry on; possibly killing one another to the point where the contagion “burns itself out”.

        But gun homicide doesn’t seem to burn-itself-out. There seems to be an adequate supply of new “hosts” for the phenomena. An adequate supply of new cohorts growing up through their teen years and becoming involved in gang and drug activity. Since the homicide rates are relatively low (as compared to countries with the highest homicide rates), the phenomena is not virulent enough to ever burn itself out. Supply of new hosts will always be adequate to maintain rates of homicide.

        We should be able to put young men at highest risk in prison for a long enough period of time to control homicide rates. If a burglar is in prison for 5 years he isn’t expanding his repertoire to activities that will get him killed; at least, not for those 5 years. But this isn’t going to happen.

        Looks like we should expect to see homicide and assault by gun rates to be sustained at current rates for the foreseeable future. If this is so then the most efficient thing we could do would be to try to reduce (or maintain) homicide rates.

        We could continue to allow property crime and non-gun crime to fester. Closely target gun crime; primarily assault with a gun and felon-in-possession. Raise the “price” of these two crimes high enough that criminals rising up the ranks (burglary, grand theft auto, robbery, drug-dealing, gang activity, assault) shift from carrying and using guns to carrying and using cutlery and clubs.

        Our objective here is not to alter the homicide rates among gang members and drug dealers. Instead, our objective is to get them to stop using guns for such purposes. We really should strive to be more like England. Hurd the perpetrators in the direction of using knives rather than guns.

        Is the foregoing strategy facetious? Immoral? Or, practical?

        If we (as peaceable gun owners) are to have an impact, we have to focus our attention where it can make a difference. We are accused of being soft on gun crime; we need to correct that misimpression. We need to be laser focused on being HARD on GUN crime: felon-in-possession, assault-with-a-gun.

        If the public really does want to reduce these two crimes in particular then they should see us, the PotG, making pertinent recommendations. Let’s advocate for freeing up prison cells so that they may be filled with felons-in-possession and gun assailants. While these particular criminals are behind bars homicide and assault by gun will necessarily drop.

        Homicides and assaults by knife and club will rise. Property crime will rise. All other crimes will rise. But these are NOT OUR concern. We will “carry on” and strive EXCLUSIVELY to incarcerate GUN killers and assalents.

        This approach MIGHT be broadly appealing to Progressives. Let’s assume that there are Progressives narrowly focused on gun control; and, Progressives broadly focused on the entire platform (abortion; . . . power). The former group wants more gun homicide. The latter group wants fewer minorities imprisoned for quality-of-life crimes. Let’s make common cause with the latter group.

        Let’s empty the prisons of all inmates convicted of lesser crimes and fill the empty cells with felons-in-possession and gun assailants. These very few are the specific individuals most likely – most immediately – to use a gun to kill or wound someone. The longer they are kept off-the-streets the more lives we are likely to save.

        It is a simple, logical argument that moves in a direction these latter broadly-concerned Progressives can agree with.

  23. Unfortunately courts systematically violating the constitution by requiring excessive bail is what is contributing to this push to eliminate cash bail altogether. If courts stopped excessive bail we would see bail bondsman go extinct.

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