Rensselaer County Officials Urge State Lawmakers to Rethink Justice Reform

Officials in Rensselaer County are joining the call for state lawmakers to slow down and take a second look at criminal justice reforms that are set to go into effect on January 1st.

The county staged the first of three forums Monday night, outlining their concerns.

DA Mary Pat Donnelly says her biggest concern is that judges can no longer make decisions on cash bail in individual cases.

Donnelly adds she's also worried about a provision that requires prosecutors to hand over evidence to defense attorneys in just 15 days, which will include the names and addresses of witnesses.

Executive Steve Mc Laughlin says one problem he has is that the state did not provide any funding to put the changes into place.

A number of DA's and law enforcement officials across the state say they're in favor of bail reform, but a wide ranging elimination of cash bail is not the way to go.

Two more forums are scheduled, Thursday in Schaghticoke, and next week in Schodack.

Photo: WNYT

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