In an op-ed published in Newsday on March 21, Color of Change President Rashad Robinson encouraged Long Island legislators to help pass the Bail Elimination Act, which would end cash bail in New York. Specifically, he called out three Democratic lawmakers for preventing the bill’s passage.
Robinson noted the racial disparity inherent in America’s criminal justice system.
“In New York and nationally, black and brown people are more likely to be arrested, convicted and sentenced to lengthy jail time when compared to white Americans, Robinson wrote. “We bear a disproportionate burden for an unjust system. That’s why we’re organizing our community and making our voices heard.”
Robinson called for a fairer system that judges people on the basis of their “risk of re-offending, rather than on their ability to pay cash bail.”
“This is about adding a small measure of justice back into our criminal justice system,” he wrote. “Whether it’s ensuring a fair trial or making sure people aren’t locked up for months — risking the loss of employment or the custody of their children without being convicted of a crime – legislators owe it to New Yorkers to vote for change.”