Accused perpetrators of hate crimes will now be held on bail, State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein announced today. This important change to the bail reform law, which was included as part of the 2020/21 fiscal year budget package, recognizes the seriousness of this category of crimes and the urgent need to prevent repeat offenses.
The most recently available hate crime data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services show that hate crimes in New York City and around the State have risen dramatically in 2019 and continued to grow this year.
“This change to bail law is important for the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable communities. Thank you to my colleague Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein for working with me on this important legislation,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “Our nation and our state have seen a disturbing rise in hate-motivated crimes, and the criminal justice system must view these crimes separately from those not motivated by hate. This change was responsive to the concerns of targeted communities.”
“This piece of legislation is a big win for vulnerable communities throughout New York State and I’m proud to have sponsored this legislation along with my Senate sponsor, State Senator Andrew Gounardes,” said Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, the Assembly’s prime sponsor of the legislation, “As we pass this budget bill, we take a positive step forward towards ensuring that these hate filled perpetrators, who often act irrationally and violently, will not be able to immediately strike again. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo and to my fellow legislators who recognized that perpetrators of hate crimes should be considered separately in regards to bail reform.”
Assault and Arson as Hate Crimes charges were added to bail eligibility as a result of this legislation.