Republicans want recall mechanism in New York for district attorneys

0

While the New York State legislative session has adjourned just last week, Republican lawmakers are calling for a special session.

Voters should have the ability to recall locally elected district attorneys in New York state and remove them from office, Republican state lawmakers on Wednesday proposed.

The lawmakers are backing a constitutional amendment that would make district attorneys subject to recall campaigns, a proposal that comes after voters in San Francisco backed the removal of District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

Voters have identified crime and public safety issues as key concerns for them in New York; Boudin was elected last year on a pledge of finding alternative ways of addressing crime that sought to de-emphasize arrests.

“Any district attorney who fails to make crime victims their number one priority has no business serving the public,” Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt said. “Their job is to enforce the law and prosecute those who break it.”

Republican candidates for governor in New York have pointed to enforcement issues on the local level and have pledged if elected to remove Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg from office.

While the governor can remove a local prosecutor from office, voters do not have a recall mechanism to eject officials from elected office like in California or Wisconsin.

“Public prosecutors who turn a blind eye to crime completely undermine the quality of life people are able to experience,” said Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay. “District attorneys have a duty to uphold the law and protect the community, two very basic responsibilities that are unfortunately being ignored with greater frequency. DAs who choose to act as political activists once they take office need to be held accountable.”

Criminal justice law changes have been part of a broader debate over policing in New York over the last several years. Lawmakers have sought to make changes to the state’s bail laws that largely ended cash bail requirements for many criminal charges.

The measure has since been adjusted to include more bail-eligible charges — changes organizations and lawmakers who have supported ending bail have decried, and ones Republicans say have not gone far enough.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.