No, Governor Hochul did NOT fix the bail fiasco — and the ax man proves it


If you really need another example of the madness of New York’s bail laws, all you need to do is look at the case of Michael Palacios, who was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and threat in connection with his rampage in a Lower East. Side McDonald’s and released without bail the next day.

Palacios, whose advances about a young woman at McDonald’s were turned down, can be seen in a video of a cell phone being pushed and beaten by three young men. When the beating stops, he calmly walks to his bike, reaches into his backpack and takes out an axe. He then proceeds to break tables and a glass wall, then slam the weapon against the wall. He then angrily walks through the store and threatens people with the ax until he calmly gets on his bike and leaves.

The police arrest him shortly afterwards. The entire incident was captured on video. It’s really terrifying to see if you imagine yourself in that store. Palacios is arrested for felony criminal mischief (more than $250 in damages), felony criminal possession of a weapon, and three counts of felony threatening.

See also  Adobe's share was criticized for spending $20 billion on Figma. But it now owns a rare business.

When the case arrived at Manhattan DA Bragg’s office, the crime was reduced to a felony, apparently because Manhattan prosecutors didn’t think the damage or havoc caused was worth being treated as a felony. The DA also dismissed the looming charges of the crime, possibly because the victims were unavailable or uncooperative, although the ax being dragged by Palacios, and the apparent terror on the victims’ faces, is clearly visible in the video.

Palacios was released on bail the day after his arrest.
@kiddlite21 via McgooShakes/Twitter

What Bragg’s office did was outrageous, but here’s the problem: Even if the prosecution hadn’t lowered the charges, Palacios STILL would have been released without bail.

You see, everything Palacios does in that video, from breaking glass walls, breaking tables, slashing his ax into walls and brandishing it at customers, is a non-bondable offense. The video of his activity is only a few minutes long, but under New York law he could have done it all day and then did the same at a Burger King or pizzeria down the street, smashing the windows of every store that he passed threw in. , swinging the ax at every passer-by and a judge STILL could not guarantee him. When he was charged on this charge, he could have told the judge that I can buy a bigger ax and that I will do the same when I get out. And a judge STILL could not guarantee him. He could have had 30 previous convictions, but as long as none of these were pending when he did this, STILL could not have paid him bail because, under New York law, a judge cannot consider public safety or the risk of recidivism when setting bail.

See also  War crimes: Russian torture prison in liberated Ukrainian city of Balakliya?

That’s one of the many problems with the “Bail Reform Laws”. Every criminal mischief is different, but the law treats them all the same, regardless of the suspect’s criminal record or individual offence. Swinging an ax around a McDonald’s and destroying property is treated the same as tinkering with a car. They are both criminal mischief and both non-bail. But one is much more terrifying to the community and infinitely more capable of escalating into tragedy.

See also  Congestion puzzle on the Gotthard: Simonetta Sommaruga wants to solve it

Hochul government and legislative leaders continue to say they “enacted” bail laws and dealt with repeat offenders. That’s normal NOT TRUE. Until New York judges are allowed to review a defendant’s criminal history and the nature of their crime and use that to consider whether the defendant is likely to commit another crime or pose a threat to the community, solving the New York’s crime problems impossible.

Jim Quinn was an executive prosecutor in the Queens DA office, where he served for 42 years.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here