Free: New York state slashes the practice of paying bail

April 4, 2019 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of New Yorkers accused of crimes will no longer face waiting for trial in jail under a new bail law.

The state budget approved this week requires release without money bail for most people awaiting trial on misdemeanors, nonviolent felonies and certain robbery and burglary charges, among other criminal justice changes.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo estimates the new law will keep about 90 percent of defendants out of jail at least until their case gets resolved.

Civil rights groups and defense lawyers hail the bail measure, though some advocates say it doesn’t go far enough.

Republican lawmakers and some law enforcement officials say the Democrat-led changes don’t allow judges enough discretion to set bail and consider public safety.