Brooklyn Defenders Urges State Lawmakers to Reject Changes to New York’s Discovery Laws
“For decades, prosecutors and police in New York were not required to provide 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 blindfolded to the evidence, fueling mass incarceration and wrongful convictions. In 2019, New York enacted new discovery laws, bringing the state from one of the worst on this issue to one of the best in the country.
Rather than provide the necessary resources to fulfill the purpose of New York’s discovery law, Governor Hochul, alongside a handful of District Attorneys, are attempting to force through a proposal that would gut these much needed reforms. Legislative changes to undermine the discovery laws will diminish prosecutorial accountability, result in more wrongful convictions, and cause more New Yorkers to languish in deadly jails for longer."
View full statement here.
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Public defenders tell legislators not to compromise on discovery reformMore than 50 public defender groups sent a letter on Wednesday to state legislators and their staff pleading with them not to accept last-minute proposals to weaken the state’s landmark discovery law reforms. The reforms, passed as part of the budget in 2019, require prosecutors to promptly provide evidence to the defense. Nearly every public defender group in New York state signed onto the letter, which was shared exclusively with City & State. The letter argues that the 2019 reforms to the discovery process were necessary and that the closed-door discussions about potential changes to the reforms have excluded key stakeholders.In The NewsDiscovery - Access to Evidence
Op-Ed: New York Can’t Put the Blindfold Back On: Legislature Must Reject Rollbacks to State Discovery LawsYung-Mi Lee, President of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Legal Director of Brooklyn Defenders' Criminal Defense Practice, and Mark Funk, President of the Chief Defenders Association of New York, penned an op-ed for Gotham Gazette urging legislators to reject changes to New York's discovery laws.In The NewsDiscovery - Access to Evidence
As Budget Negotiations Continue, Brooklyn Defenders Urges Legislature to Resist Proposals to Upend Discovery and Speedy Trial Reforms"We once again call on New York’s legislators to resist the governor’s and prosecutors’ attempts to weaken these critical reforms, and urge lawmakers to instead use the budget to fulfill the promise of the discovery laws with proper resources.”Press ReleasesDiscovery - Access to Evidence
As Legislators Return to Albany, Brooklyn Defenders Urges No Changes to New York’s Bail and Discovery Laws"These unjust proposals will not make New Yorkers safer - we know the safest communities have the most resources, not the most incarceration. Instead they will erode police, prosecutorial, and judicial accountability and send more New Yorkers to languish in jails longer. As legislators return to Albany for yet another week of budget negotiations, we urge them to stand strong against these attempts to upend the law.”Press ReleasesBail & Pre-Trial Incarceration
Brooklyn Defenders Urges New York State Legislature to Continue to Reject Changes to New York’s Bail Laws“Pretrial detention tears families apart, takes people away from their homes, jobs, and healthcare, and subjects people to dangerous jail conditions. Yet, Governor Hochul has held up the state budget to force through a proposal that would upend New York’s bail laws and condemn even more people to deadly jails pretrial. We urge legislative leaders to hold strong and reject the governor’s attempt to expand pretrial incarceration.”Press ReleasesBail & Pre-Trial Incarceration
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