Requires the incarceration of a defendant, pending a bail revocation hearing, upon filing of a statement alleging the intimidation of a victim or witness while such defendant was at liberty on bail; requires revocation hearing within 72 hours.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to requiring certain persons be committed to the custody of the sheriff pending a hearing on revocation of bail
PURPOSE: This bill would require the incarceration, pending a bail revocation hearing within 72 hours, of a defendant at liberty on bail, upon a filing of a verified statement that the defendant has intimidated a victim or witness in violation of sections 215.15,215.16 or 215.17 of the Penal Law.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Amends paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section 530.60 of the criminal procedure law to require that a person against whom a verified statement has been filed alleging the intimidation of a victim or witness while out on bail be committed to the custody of the sheriff, pending a bail revocation hearing.
JUSTIFICATION: Presently, if a defendant at liberty on bail intimidates a victim or witness, until the district attorney commences a bail revocation hearing, the defendant is free to continue to stalk the crime victim or witness.
Present Criminal Procedures Law provides inadequate protection to citizens against criminals who kill or intimidate to silence the witnesses against them. This was illustrated by the killing of Bonnie Mejia of Freeport, New York, a Queens College student who was killed by two out-on-bail defendants against whom she was to testify in a robbery and burglary case. Requiring a bail revocation hearing before incarcerating a defendant accused of witness or victim intimidation merely allows the defendant more time to silence an opposing witness or crime victim. Instead, and in order to provide crime victims and witnesses with a meaningful form of protection against intimidation, the state should remove the threatening defendant from the streets and mandate incarceration pending the bail revocation hearing. This legislation would effect such a change in the criminal procedure law.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2007-08: S.1346 - Referred to Codes 2009-10: S.1805 - Referred to Codes
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2930 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 3, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. JOHNSON, BONACIC -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to requiring certain persons be committed to the custody of the sheriff pending a hearing on revocation of bail THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section 530.60 of the criminal procedure law, as added by chapter 788 of the laws of 1981, is amended to read as follows: (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subdivi- sion a defendant, against whom a felony complaint has been filed which charges the defendant with commission of a class A or violent felony offense committed while he OR SHE was at liberty as specified therein,
[may]OR AGAINST WHOM A VERIFIED STATEMENT HAS BEEN FILED WHICH ALLEGES THAT THE DEFENDANT HAS INTIMIDATED A VICTIM OR WITNESS IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 215.15, 215.16 OR 215.17 OF THE PENAL LAW WHILE AT LIBERTY, UNLESS THE COURT SHALL OTHERWISE MAKE A FINDING ON THE RECORD, SHALL be committed to the custody of the sheriff pending a revocation hearing for a period not to exceed seventy-two hours. An additional period not to exceed seventy-two hours may be granted by the court upon application of the district attorney upon a showing of good cause or where the failure to commence the hearing was due to the defendant's request or occurred with his consent. Such good cause must consist of some compelling fact or circumstance which precluded conducting the hearing within the initial prescribed period. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07071-01-1