177 Livingston Street 7th Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 254-0700 info@bds.org

News

BDS’ DEBORA SILBERMAN WRITES OP-ED ON DISCOVERY AND EXPUNGEMENT FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

BDS’ Debora Silberman wrote an op-ed for The New York Times tackling how a lack of discovery and expungement laws result in permanent damage to the reputations of innocent people including adolescents.

While charges were dismissed, “the dismissal of charges does not undo the damage to the reputations of the so-called Brownsville Five, teenagers ages 14 to 18, including one who is my client. Because they were tried in adult court, their names were made public and were reported widely in the news media, smearing them for the rest of their lives.”

Debora points out that the prosecution held on to exculpatory evidence that would have cleared them in the beginning.

“In my client’s case, the district attorney’s office and other law enforcement agencies had gathered videos from the boys who were arrested and statements from the woman and her father, who was also in the park just before the incident, and witnesses in the neighborhood, all of which cast serious doubt as to the veracity of the allegations,” she writes. “But New York law does not require the prosecutor to provide any police reports or other evidence to a person who has been arrested or that person’s attorney until a trial actually starts — often a year or more after the arrest.”

Read all of Debora’s op-ed at the New York Times.