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Mayor Eric Adams says repeat offenders show need for more changes to bail reform laws

Mayor, governor at odds over bail reform changes
Mayor, governor at odds over bail reform changes 02:40

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams released statistics Wednesday showing a crime wave mounted by a small group of so-called career criminals.

They've wracked up hundreds of arrests since the bail laws were rewritten, yet are still on the streets, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported.

The numbers are absolutely jaw dropping, 10 men arrested 485 times after bail reform was enacted for all all kinds of crimes -- burglary, robbery, grand larceny, stealing cars. Yet, they have been let out again and again by judges who think they don't have the right to hold them in jail.

"These offenders face very few if any repercussions despite committing crime after crime," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.

Is it any wonder that the mayor is fuming?

"Our criminal justice system is insane. It is dangerous, it is harmful, and it's destroying the fabric of our city," Adams said.

Watch Marcia Kramer's report

Statistics show crime wave by so-called career criminals in NYC 03:16

The mayor is trying a new tactic in his crusade to get Gov. Kathy Hochul and Albany lawmakers to change the state's revolving-door justice system. He says he's not trying to change what he called the "righteous reforms" enacted by Albany. He just wants judges to be able to consider the dangerousness of a small group of criminals who do most of the crimes.

"Time and time again, our police officers are making arrests and then the person who is arrested for assault, felonious assaults, and gun possession is finding themselves back on the streets within days, if not hours," Adams said.

"In New York City, we've identified 716 individuals, 716 individuals, who are responsible for approximately 30 percent of the shooting incidents since 2021," NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael Lipetri said.

READ MOREA Conversation on Bail Reform

To further press the case of the so-called violence of the few, the NYPD released a list of the 10 "worst of the worst." The person at the top of the list has 101 career arrests -- 88 since bail reform was enacted -- and 15 convictions, including three felonies and two violent felonies. He has failed to appear in court at least 14 times.

The mayor said the these career criminals -- recidivists -- make the case for change.

"Those who say that the predicted wave of recidivism wouldn't happen and the studies that claim to show that the rate of arrests for violent felonies has not changed since the reforms were passed, I have one word for you: Wrong. You are wrong," Adams said.

Watch Ali Bauman's report

Statistics show crime wave by so-called career criminals in NYC 03:16

Hochul said she agrees with Adams that these bad guys should not be on the streets, but she insists judges already have enough tools in the tool box to do that.

"What we gave judges was the ability to consider the severity of the offense. Is this a repeat offense? Is there a history involved here?" Hochul said Wednesday.

"Her belief that the judges have the tools that they need, yes, they have tools that they need. They're not using them," Adams said.

Arielle Reid, an attorney for the Legal Aid Society, believes allowing judges to set bail based on dangerousness would lend itself to bias.

"Ideas about who is dangerous and who is not, all of those things have led to the decimation of communities of color," Reid told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

FLASHBACKPoll: New Yorkers support changes to bail reform law, but split on how they will impact crime

Bail reform advocates argue the mayor's proposal would send more innocent people to Rikers Island.

"I was in there for a crime that I never committed and sat there on a $100,000 bail for over three years for them to say you know what? Not guilty, go home," a formerly incarcerated advocate said.

"The bail laws are working, Mr. Mayor. Please don't mess with things that are saving lives," said Marvin Mayfield, with Center for Community Alternatives.

The governor suggested that judges and even prosecutors take what she called "continuing education programs," so they can get up to date on the bail changes enacted by the Legislature.

Meanwhile, the Legal Aid Society insists that statistics show bail reform has had little impact on recidivism.

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