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Governor Proposes Allowing Prosecutors to Appeal Bail

February 23, 1996

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Gov. George Pataki said Thursday that he would propose a law allowing prosecutors to appeal judges’ bail and sentencing decisions, something only defendants now have the right to do in New York.

Prosecutors can make such appeals in federal court, but only a few states allow them. Pataki said the law would return the system’s balance of power from criminals to prosecutors.

The bill also would stiffen penalties for people who violate protection orders. Pataki said this was in response to the decision by a judge in New York City’s Brooklyn borough to release a domestic violence defendant who later killed his girlfriend.

``For too long we have not recognized that literally thousands of women are brutalized,″ Pataki said at a news conference.

Under current law, if someone violates an order of protection by harassing or threatening someone, it’s a misdemeanor. ``It should have been a felony a long time ago,″ Pataki said.

Sherry Frohman, the executive director of the state Coalition Against Domestic Violence, hailed the proposals.

``It sends a message to batterers that they cannot violate an order of protection,″ she said.

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