New state law could allow suspects to visit crime scenes
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHAM) -- A new state law could allow suspects accused of a crime to visit the crime scene.
It's part of New York's bail reform laws set to take effect in January.
One police chief worries this could leave crime victims feeling victimized for a second time.
"I can’t even imagine having to approach a burglary or an assault victim and telling them that we have to let the criminal be accused criminal back into their home. I can’t imagine having to do that," said Ogden Police Chief Christopher Mears.
He says it's difficult enough for victims to go back into their homes following a crime or break-in.
"Those victims no longer feel safe. I've had many people say, 'I'm just going to have to move now. There's no way I can come back to my own home and feel safe,'" Mears said.
Defense attorney Mark Foti doesn't believe many defendants will ask a judge to visit a crime scene.
"In virtually most cases, this type of relief is not being sought," he said. "I don’t expect the change in statute is going to have a very significant impact on that."
A spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said, in a statement: "If they have specific concerns we will review them, but we’re proud to have passed the most comprehensive reforms in a generation."
The reform bill goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.