Senator Saland's Legislation To Permit Child Witnesses To Testify Via Closed Circuit Television Passes The Senate

Stephen M. Saland

April 12, 2005

Senator Steve Saland (R-C Poughkeepsie) today announced that the Senate has passed his legislation to minimize the emotional harm to child victims and witnesses in murder, attempted murder (S.470), assault, and endangering the welfare of a child (S.469) cases by allowing them to testify via closed-circuit television.

In 1985, the New York State Legislature approved a law allowing children to testify by closed-circuit television in court proceedings involving sexual abuse. Senator Saland's legislation extends this protection to children who are similarly traumatized as a result of being called to testify in murder and attempted murder cases or in cases of assault or endangering the welfare of a child.

"Children who testify in court often have more difficulty recovering emotionally," said Senator Saland. " "My legislation would shield child witnesses from a practice that often leaves victimized children even further traumatized. Prosecution could then move forward in a manner that would minimize the pressure and anguish experienced by children."

The bills will now be sent to the Assembly.