ALBANY — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to end the practice of requiring criminal defendants to post monetary bail in misdemeanor and non-violent felony cases.
The Democrat says the longstanding practice of accepting cash bail is unfair, since it allows suspects with financial resources to go free while those without must wait in jail until their trials begin.
Cuomo is proposing instead to release those defendants on their own recognizance or require them to check in with officials.
Suspects accused of violent crimes or felonies could still be required to post bail to win release or be held without bail entirely in some circumstances.
The changes must be approved by lawmakers and are part of a broader criminal reform package announced ahead of Cuomo's state of the state address Wednesday.