Tedisco, victims call on senate majority to pass legislation

ALBANY – State Sen. Jim Tedisco, Republican for the 49th District, has joined with his Senate Republican colleagues, several local officials and crime victims to call on the Senate Majority to pass legislation that protects victims, keeps communities safe, and does not reward law-breakers, according to a news release.

They are sounding the alarm over several proposals being fast-tracked by Senate Democrats including eliminating cash bail, which would allow many serious offenders to skip town and potentially commit more crimes and put public safety at greater risk.

Tedisco was joined by Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney; Hamilton County District Attorney Marsha Purdue; Michael and Regina Stewart, parents of Christopher Stewart, a Shenendehowa High School senior, who reportedly lost his life due to the actions of a drunk and drugged driver; and Saratoga County Undersheriff Rick Castle.

“We all want equal justice under the law and we should work for reforms to accomplish that goal, but what the Senate Majority wants to do here would tip the scales completely out of balance in favor of criminals and to the detriment of public safety,” said Tedisco.

“With these so-called ‘criminal justice reform’ proposals, our colleagues are handcuffing victims, law enforcement officials and prosecutors instead of handcuffing those criminals who commit crimes against law-abiding citizens,” said Tedisco. “The Senate and Assembly should be passing legislation to protect victims, get fair hearings for the accused, and enhance public safety, and not handing out get-out-of-jail-free cards as a reward for law-breaking.”

Tedisco is calling on the Senate to pass common sense parole reform legislation to protect crime victims and their families and keep the public safe. These include his legislation to require all victim impact statements be videotaped and viewed by the state Parole Board before it decides to parole a convicted criminal (S.4127); extending the waiting time between parole hearings from 24 to 60 months; and life imprisonment without parole for persistent violent felony offenders (S.357).