Senator Velmanette Montgomery celebrates passage of historic bail, discovery and speedy trial reform. The measures were passed as part of the FY 2019-2020 State Budget.
Reforming New York’s Justice System:
- Reforming Bail and Pretrial Detention: The enacted budget 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: The enacted budget 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 enacted budget includes legislation that 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.
- Transforming the Discovery Process: The enacted budget includes reforms that will 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.