May 7, 2019
Statement From Senator O’Mara:
State Senator Tom O’Mara (R, Big Flats) today continued to criticize the state Senate’s Democratic leadership for their efforts to “radically redefine the idea of criminal justice in New York State.”
Senate Democrats are scheduled to vote on and approve legislation later today to permit felons to sit on juries (S221A), to establish a method for inmates to have identification that would enable them to register to vote (S4212), and to permit charitable organizations to bail out felons (S497).
O’Mara was especially critical that the legislation is being approved on the same day that the state conducts its “Police Officers Memorial Remembrance Ceremony” on the Empire State Plaza in Albany. The names of 63 officers are being added to the memorial at today’s ceremony, including New York State Trooper Nicholas Clark of Troupsburg (Steuben County), who was killed in the line of duty near Corning last year.
“What in the name of justice is going on? Governor Cuomo’s Parole Board is releasing cop killers. Democratic senators are pushing legislation to grant parole hearings to dangerous inmates sentenced to life without parole. Now the Senate Democrats want felons to sit on juries and vote in elections. It is a dangerous and disturbing trend of over rolling over backwards for criminals to radically redefine criminal justice in New York State at the expense of victims and their families and loved ones,” said O’Mara. “And to take these steps on a day that we remember and honor fallen officers is unthinkable.”
Another Senate Democrat-sponsored piece of legislation currently in the Senate Elections Committee seeks to grant voting rights to felons in prison (S4793).
Last week, O’Mara joined Senate GOP colleagues to called for the enactment of a “Victims’ Justice Agenda” to help offset the Democrats’ ongoing actions through a package of legislation to, among other measures, reform the parole system to keep violent criminals behind bars without parole and ease the parole process for suffering victims, families, and the public.