Local residents have mixed feelings about bail reform

Mayor Domenic Sarno said he supports the legislation

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield lawmaker wants to see an end to low bail for repeat offenders.

Springfield State Representative Angelo Puppolo has drafted legislation that would allow the state to appeal bail decisions when they feel bail has been set too low.

Mayor Domenic Sarno said he supports the legislation.

One Springfield resident said having been in jail himself, he thinks people charged with a crime could use more time behind bars.

“Criminals and people who are on the streets should not be able to release themselves on bail like that, because that’s like giving them a get out of jail free pass, and people seem to take that very lightly,” James Walden of Springfield said.

Currently, defendants have the right to appeal if they feel bail has been set too high, and the legislation seeks to give prosecutors the opportunity to seek a higher bail. But some worry this legislation would keep people in jail who possible shouldn’t be there.

“I don’t think it’s fair, like they say proven innocent until guilty basically, so, it’s not fair to them or their family,” Renee Bresse of Springfield said.

Puppolo said the legislation “seeks a balance” by ensuring bail won’t be set excessively high or excessively low.