New York Judge Locates Obscure Statute That Lets Him Bypass Bail Reform Laws

Holly Matkin

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Hecht used the 40-year-old law to keep a repeat felon behind bars.

Brooklyn, NY – A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge used a 40-year-old statute to bypass New York’s bail reform law in order to keep a repeat felon behind bars.

The rarely-used law enables judges to hold certain persistent felony offenders in jail for up to 90 days, according to the New York Post.

Career criminal Casey Knight, 51, had seven prior felony convictions when he was arrested on another burglary charge in November of 2018.

In that case, Knight allegedly smashed out a window and stole over $3,000 worth of jewelry.

He was held on bail for over a year until Dec. 3, 2019, when Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Barry Warhit released him without bail in anticipation of the bail reform laws that went into effect on Jan. 1, the New York Post reported.

Knight promptly broke into three other homes, stealing shoes, video games, electronics, and music equipment over a period of two weeks, according to prosecutors.

He was apprehended on Feb. 1.

Five days later, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Hecht applied the 40-year-old statute to Knight’s case, noting that the older law had not been affected by the bail reform measures, the New York Post reported.

“The exclusion of burglary in the second degree simply isn’t there,” Hecht ruled. “Accordingly, based on all these factors, the court concluded that the least restrictive condition to reasonably assure his return was remand for a period of 90 days.”

Former Manhattan prosecutor Bennett Gershman, who is now a law professor, said that by doing the “right thing” and using the statute, Hecht “recused a very bad situation,” the New York Post reported.

Gershman also blasted bail reform as a whole, and said that lawmakers had created “embarrassing” lapses in the state’s criminal justice system.

But former public defender Jocelyn Simonson, who is also now a law professor, said that Hecht’s use of the rarely-used statute was unfair to accused criminals.

“This is not a result that should be happening,” Simonson complained to the New York Post. “He’s going out of his way to make a ruling that he didn’t have to make.”

The Legal Aid Society, which is representing Knight on his slew of pending criminal matters, said it is looking into the judge’s ruling to determine how to proceed.

Comments (22)
flybynight
flybynight

WOW, a judge with common sense.

No. 1-14
Davidtwmay24
Davidtwmay24

If only every judge had as much common sense as this one does to protect the rights of the citizens of their country

Aramovich
Aramovich

Not all the judges are soft in the head. I'll donate to his re-election camping even if he's a Democrat!

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

Good, now other judges know where to find the law that can keep these revolving door criminals behind bars, for the betterment of society.

reverett456117502
reverett456117502

Good job Judge! Now figure out how to jail De Bozo and his Jesters and NY will be much safer!!!!

LEO0301
LEO0301

90 days is better than nothing I suppose. At least this judge is trying to figure a way around just releasing career criminals without having to post a bond,.

Dezertgem
Dezertgem

Great judge doing his homework! Way to go!👍

LAW169
LAW169

Now if someone could put DeBlabbio in jail for 90 years, that would be good for the order and in the interest of public safety.

RetiredCorrections
RetiredCorrections

Where there’s a will, there is a way . Good job Your Honor

natoj
natoj

OK finally a judge that's worthy and is willing to go against the herd. Gives the public a little bit of encouragement that their all not puppets and willing and eager to put in a little more effort instead of taking the easy way out.

Raymelson
Raymelson

I would be ok with lead poisoning for the mayor and governor

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

This whole story is just a stain on the justice system in New York. Reforms needs to be reversed and then harsher penalties introduced. This "coddle the criminal" bullshit is a joke.

spd522
spd522

Jocelyn Simonson is a liberal hack that teaches her opinion vs the law. She is anti prosecution and anti police. Most of her students at Harvard wouldn't take a class from her again.


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