I hope the New Year celebrations were pleasant for all of you and that we can all look forward to great things in 2020. Such a goal should be particularly easy if you happen to be a criminal in New York City. As the PBA in Gotham is warning everyone, 2020 is going to be “the year of the perp” in the Big Apple. New laws that just went into effect are making life increasingly easy for criminals and reducing any disincentive to break the law. And to put it mildly, the cops aren’t happy about it. (New York Post)
It’s the Year of the Perp.
The start of the new decade couldn’t look better for New York’s criminal defendants, thanks to a slew of reforms and handouts that critics charge will return the city to the bad ol’ days.
Among the controversial changes is a new state law that requires prosecutors to turn over their evidence — potentially including witnesses’ names and contact info — to the defense within 15 days of arraignment.
Previously, there was no set time frame for prosecutors to comply, meaning defendants often didn’t get the information until just before trial.
If you go through the linked report, there are a few different laws in place now that are raising concerns. The first one is a rule saying that prosecutors have to turn over evidence to the defense (the process known as discovery) within fifteen days of arraignment. This rule is the one that I’m not so sure about in terms of negative effects across the board. When a person is charged with a crime, their attorney is supposed to have the evidence that will be presented against them so they can prepare for trial. (Or perhaps cut a deal if the evidence is overwhelming.)