If you actually wanted one other instance of the madness of New York’s bail legal guidelines, all you must do is have a look at the case of Michael Palacios, who was arrested and charged with felony mischief and menacing in connection together with his rampage in a Lower East Side McDonald’s after which launched with out bail the following day.
Palacios, who was allegedly incensed when a girl spurned him within the McDonalds, is seen on cellphone video being pushed and hit by three younger males. When the hitting stops, he calmly walks over to his bicycle, reaches into his backpack and pulls out a hatchet. He then proceeds to interrupt tables and a glass partition after which slams the weapon into the wall. Next he angrily walks concerning the retailer, menacing folks with the hatchet till he calmly will get on his bike and leaves.
Police arrest him shortly thereafter. The whole incident is captured on video. It actually is terrifying to look at should you think about your self in that retailer. Palacios is arrested for felony felony mischief (over $250 injury), misdemeanor felony possession of a weapon and three counts of misdemeanor menacing.
When the case acquired to Manhattan DA Bragg’s workplace, the felony felony mischief was diminished to a misdemeanor, apparently as a result of Manhattan prosecutors didn’t assume the injury executed or the havoc wrought was price treating as a felony. The DA additionally dismissed the misdemeanor menacing fees, presumably as a result of the victims weren’t obtainable or uncooperative, although the hatchet toting menacing by Palacios, and the apparent concern on the faces of the victims, is abundantly clear on the video.
What Bragg’s workplace did was outrageous, however right here’s the rub: Even had the DA not lowered the fees, Palacios STILL would have been released without bail.
You see, every part that Palacios is seen doing on that video, from smashing plate glass partitions, breaking tables, chopping his hatchet into partitions, and waving it at patrons is a non-bailable offense. The video of his exercise solely lasts a couple of minutes, however below New York regulation, he may have executed that every one day lengthy after which executed the identical factor at a Burger King or pizza parlor down the road, smashing the home windows of each retailer he handed, waving the hatchet at each passerby and a judge STILL couldn’t have set bail on him. At his arraignment on these fees, he may have mentioned to the judge I can purchase an even bigger hatchet and I’m gonna do the identical factor after I get out. And a judge STILL couldn’t set bail on him. He may have had a report of 30 prior convictions, however so long as none of them have been pending when he did this, a judge STILL couldn’t have set bail on him, as a result of below New York regulation, a judge can’t think about public security or threat of re-offending when setting bail.
That’s one of many many issues with the “bail reform” legal guidelines. Every felony mischief is totally different, however the regulation treats all of them the identical, whatever the defendant’s report or the person information. Waving a hatchet round a McDonald’s and destroying property is handled the identical as keying a automotive. They are each felony mischief and each non-bailable. But one is much extra terrifying to the group and infinitely extra able to escalating into tragedy.
Gov. Hochul and legislative leaders hold saying that they “fastened” the bail legal guidelines and handled recidivists. That is simply NOT TRUE. Until New York judges are allowed to take a look at a defendant’s felony historical past and the character of their crime and use that to contemplate whether or not it’s possible that the defendant will commit one other crime or be a hazard to the group, fixing New York’s crime issues shall be inconceivable.
Jim Quinn was govt district lawyer within the Queens DA’s workplace, the place he served for 42 years.