New York's chief judge wants the state to overhaul its bail laws, saying they are unfair to the poor and can allow dangerous criminals to go free.
In his annual State Of The Judiciary Speech, New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman called on the state Legislature to change state law to allow judges to consider public safety when setting bail.
Under the current law, judges set bail only in an effort to ensure defendants return to court.
Lippman also said nonviolent defendants who do not threaten public safety should not be kept in jail because they cannot afford bail.
He said bail bondsmen are less inclined to underwrite low bail amounts, which ironically makes it more likely those accused of more serious crimes will get bail bonds.