Legal Aid Society


100+ NYS Law Professors Reject Governor’s Ill-Conceived Bail Proposal

Over 100 professors from law schools throughout New York State released an open letter today addressed to Governor Kathy Hochul, Majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Carl Heastie, condemning the Governor’s proposed changes to New York’s bail statute which will only lead to the more pretrial caging of Black and Latinx New Yorkers, undermining public safety.

The professors hail from every law school in New York State, including New York University Law School, Columbia University Law School, St. John’s University Law School, Brooklyn Law School, CUNY Law School, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University and others.

In their letter, the professors write that the Governor’s proposal would undo the well-considered and long-standing purpose of bail: to ensure a person’s return to court. Furthermore, they note that Hochul’s proposal would exacerbate racial disparities and wealth-based detention and would also sow confusion among judges and criminal legal system stakeholders.

“The Governor’s proposal is a political distraction that seeks to satisfy the never-satisfied racist call to incarcerate our way to safety,” the professors write, in part. “The proposal must be rejected in whole. Only by refusing to cede this high and moral ground can we return to legislating real opportunities to make our communities feel safe and thrive.”

Read the full letter here.