“The case of Pedro Hernandez highlights the need for significant bail reform, if not the elimination of the money bail system altogether, in the State of New York. We need a system that places greater emphasis on the objective risk a defendant poses.  Unfortunately, for too long, bail policies have been applied inconsistently and disproportionately. For low-income New Yorkers, the bail system has been prohibitive and punitive.

“The actions taken by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights demonstrate that, for too many, bail is simply out of reach.  For Pedro Hernandez, for Kalief Browder, and for the thousands of individuals currently waiting for trial on Rikers Island and elsewhere, the status quo must be changed. I support the recommendations on bail reform made by the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, led by Judge Jonathan Lippman, as a way to keep New Yorkers out of jail when the interests of public safety permit it, and look forward to working with colleagues and advocates for criminal justice reform to move this issue forward,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.