ALBANY, N.Y. — A city man accused in a series of quickly-mounting and unrelated crimes in Albany, which concluded with a murder charge, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to a deadly June stabbing.
Richard Quinn, 64, is now facing an indictment for murder in the second degree, and is headed back to jail pending a bail hearing later this month.
According to police, Quinn moved to Albany from Buffalo in summer 2016, and was arrested four times over the following nine months for crimes ranging from assault to larceny to menacing. At one point, he was sentenced to probation, but with each subsequent arrest, city court Judge Gary Stiglmeier sent Quinn back to probation to monitor and adjust his behavior.
The judge's decision came despite repeated requests from the district attorney and the probation department to put Quinn behind bars for the good of the community.
Legal analyst Paul DerOhannesian says the judge's practice is not uncommon.
"Judges overrule the recommendations of prosecutors and probation officers all the time," he said Thursday. "It doesn't mean that the system isn't working the way it's supposed to."
DerOhannesian explained that in New York, pre-trial jail or bail penalties are only meant to ensure the defendant shows up for his scheduled court dates. Judges are not allowed to consider whether a person might be dangerous to the community when imposing a bail or jail decision.
"It's not designed to make sure that an individual doesn't go out and commit another crime," DerOhannesian said. "Human beings are human beings, and sometimes they will do things.
"The law is not designed to control the behavior of everyone in the future," he continued. "You can't do that."
Stiglmeier has declined to comment since Quinn's murder arrest. Quinn still has several cases pending before Stiglmeier's court.