ALBANY, NEW YORK — At midnight on January 1st, new bail reform laws went into effect in The Empire State. The laws have come with much controversy, and have been highlighted even more after a man was released from custody today following his arrest for manslaughter.
On Thursday, Albany County District Attorney David Soares highlighted the release of 52-year-old Paul Barbaritano — a man charged with choking and stabbing a woman to death in a Brevator Street apartment last July — as a tragic example of the failure of bail and discovery reforms swept into law in last year’s state budget.via Times Union
While the defense says that the incident was a sexual encounter gone terribly wrong, the prosecution is calling the man’s actions negligent, which resulted in the death of another person.
In turn, Barbaritano’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Rebekah Sokol, said her client mortally injured 29-year-old Nicole Jennings following a sexual encounter involving erotic asphyxiation. Her client, she said, accidentally stabbed Jennings while trying to cut a belt from Jennings’ neck. The two had been using drugs, according to the defense, and knew one another for some time. Barbaritano had self-inflicted wounds.
Even if a judge wanted to hold Barbaritano, he or she would be powerless to do so.
Other crimes where the reform law come into play are shown above. They include;
- Criminally negligent homicide
- Criminal sale of a firearm to a minor
- Promoting or possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child
- Aggravated cruelty to animals
- Unlawful imprisonment in the 1st degree
- and much more.
Many are trying to have the law overturned, but it’s an uphill battle that will likely take a long time to correct. If ever.