Editorial

Mayor Mike




Even with this year’s relatively large pool of candidates, very few communities can boast they have a presidential candidate in their midst. But we can.

Bloomberg is more than just a proud parent at the Hampton Classic. He lives in Southampton, is a passionate golfer at the Shinnecock Golf course, and like so many New York City residents, he hustles to find as much time as he can at his beloved East End estate.

That means he’s familiar with the traffic problems, has firsthand knowledge of the helicopter parade, and we’re sure, is well -versed on erosion and the water pollution problem out in these parts.

We’re by no means endorsing Mayor Mike just yet — there’s a long race to be run — but we are pointing out having the leader of the free world on speed dial is an enticing proposition.

In Our Courts

The Independent has been in the forefront of anticipating and reporting on the criminal law reforms in courthouses across New York State that are due to take place on January 1. This week, The Independent hears from Assemblyman Fred Thiele about the coming reforms, now just days away.

Bail, which was never meant to be punitive but based on the likelihood that the accused will return for trial, will be eliminated altogether for most crimes. In the past, defendants facing similar criminal charges in courts across the state sometimes had very dissimilar results when it came time for bail to be set. That has been ended, for better or worse.

For many participants at a demonstration at East Hampton Town Justice Court last week, there was a belief that there is a correlation between bail and punishment. There is not, at least in theory.

Historically, though, particularly in New York City, bail has sometimes been set at a level the accused simply could not make because of economic conditions, and that result is tantamount to forced incarceration and is against the foundation of our legal system. We are all innocent until proven guilty.

In most cases, under the new laws, a judge no longer has the ability to consider whether a defendant poses a risk to the community.

If all this works, it will be a great result for the criminal justice system across the state. But if it doesn’t, there will be hell to pay.