NEW YORK (TNS) — A Manhattan judge lamented “the law is stupid” in a startlingly sharp rebuke of sweeping criminal justice reforms on the horizon during bail hearings this week.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Maxwell Wiley’s candid assessment came on a day he delivered a number of sharp comments in open court, telling one defendant who faced burglary charges he believed it went “against all common sense and wisdom” to release him.

In the case of another man, Jose Gonzalez, 35, who faced charges related to robbery and a maximum of four years in prison if convicted, the judge rolled his eyes before ordering the man’s release.

“The law is stupid, but I have to follow it,” Wiley lamented.

The state Legislature passed a bundle of laws earlier this year aimed at reducing mass incarceration and correcting unfairness in the criminal justice system.

People charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies are among those who will be released without bail in less than a month’s time, and prosecutors will now be required to share evidence with the defense within 15 days.

Jim Eckstrom is executive editor of the Olean Times Herald and Bradford Publishing Co. His email is jeckstrom@oleantimesherald.com.)

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