Senate Majority Announces Hearings On The Implementation of Discovery Reform

(Albany, New York) The Senate Majority today announced that two public hearings will be held on the implementation of discovery reform legislation passed during the New York State Budget. Senator Jamaal Bailey, Chair of the New York Senate Codes Committee, will lead the hearings, to ensure stakeholders provide input on the best ways to implement discovery and other pretrial reforms to accomplish the goals of the new legislation.

The first hearing will be in Manhattan on Monday, September 9th at 10:00 AM in the Senate Hearing Room, 19th Floor, 250 Broadway, New York, NY 10007

“For too long, many New Yorkers were denied their rights because of our outdated criminal justice system,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “The reforms passed this year are a major step forward in modernizing and creating a justice system that is fair and impartial, as it should be. I thank Senator Jamaal Bailey for taking the lead and holding hearings to ensure the speedy and effective implementation of these justice system reforms.”

Senator Jamaal T. Bailey, Chair of the Codes Committee, said, “This session proved to be historic with the various reforms that were passed. The set of reforms included a pivotal change in the criminal justice system. We are now tasked with ensuring that the implementation process is effective and fulfills the intent and purpose of the new law. These hearings are necessary in order to achieve a fair system for all parties involved and provide an opportunity to voice the best methods for implementation.”

A subsequent hearing will be held in Albany on Thursday, October 28th, at 10:00 AM in the Legislative Office Building Hearing Room A, 2nd Floor.

Oral testimony is by invitation only. To RSVP to attend the hearing or to submit written testimony please email: jenkinsc@nysenate.gov.

2019 Criminal Justice Reforms Passed in the Budget includes:

  • Transforming the Discovery Process: This legislation includes reforms that will transform overall New York’s discovery process to require that both prosecutors and defendants share all information in their possession well in advance of trial. This legislation will also ensure that both victims and witnesses are protected from intimidation and other forms of coercion by providing prosecutors the ability to petition a court for a protective order.
  • Reforming Bail and Pretrial Detention: This legislation will eliminate cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies and ensure that no New Yorker is incarcerated because of their inability to pay. Additionally, law enforcement officials will be required to issue a desk appearance ticket to most people charged with misdemeanors and Class E felonies.
  • Ensuring the Right to a Speedy Trial: This legislation will ensure that defendants do not sit in jail waiting for a trial while dates keep getting postponed by requiring that misdemeanors are resolved within 90 days and felonies within 180 days. The legislation requires courts to take a proactive role in advising litigants on how time will be charged and inquire into the government’s readiness to proceed to trial and require the government to file all suitable paperwork before statement of readiness is accepted. 

 

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