Discovery - Access to Evidence

For many decades in New York, unlike most of the rest of the country, prosecutors and police were not required to provide police reports and other crucial evidence, known as “discovery,” to people facing criminal allegations or their attorneys until the eve of trial. Instead, people were coerced to plead guilty while blindfolded to the evidence, fueling mass incarceration and wrongful convictions. In 2019, we and our allies won comprehensive discovery reform, bringing New York's discovery law from among the worst in the nation to one of the best.

Since then, law enforcement and prosecutors have continued to push for further rollbacks to discovery. We worked alongside a diverse and devoted coalition of defenders and advocates to ensure that the legislature rejected the most harmful rollback efforts in 2022. We will continue to fight for fair discovery laws.

Resources

Fact Sheet

Brooklyn Defender Services: The Truth About New York's Bail, Raise the Age & Discovery Laws Fact Sheet

Website

In Defense Of Website: Justice is Blindfolded

Article

New York Times Article: Once as Pro Prosecution as Any Red State, New York Makes a Big Shift on Trials