New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin publicly condemned the cashless bail system and called for reform this week after a man who attacked Zeldin on stage earlier in the week was released from custody.
Zeldin, who was giving a speech in Fairport, New York on Thursday evening when he was attacked by a man who appeared on stage and attempted to stab Zeldin with a “set of self-defense knuckles which had two sharp pointed ends which protruded beyond his fist,” according to the criminal complaint against the attacker, David G. Jakubonis.
Jakubonis was released from custody this week on his own recognizance, prompting outcry from Zeldin about the state’s cashless bail system. “The judges should have discretion to weigh dangerousness. It’s about the victim,” said Zeldin at a rally.
“But even if you were having a conversation with the strongest advocate of cashless bail, I would challenge them on this point: I would argue that they’re doing a disservice to the person who attacked us on stage last night because they rush — they have to, by law — they have to rush to get him released.”
Zeldin continued, “So, what I propose is that we repeal cashless bail, that judges are given discretion to weigh dangerousness and flight risk and past criminal record and seriousness of the offense.” He added, “And we make sure that that law includes protections against some judges who, if given the discretion, will choose not to keep behind bars people who absolutely must remain behind bars. That’s my proposal.”
Zeldin’s opponent in the gubernatorial race, incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul, has backed the cashless bail system, and been the target of Republican criticism because of it.
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