Victim groups back Gov. Hochul’s criminal-justice plan

Crime-victim advocates Friday demanded that the state legislature help Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed criminal-justice reforms, saying among the adjustments would assist shield battered ladies.

The domestic-violence-prevention teams — in a letter to Senate Majority Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) and Meeting Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx) — ripped the present tight deadlines that prosecutors face when turning over discovery, or proof, to the opposite aspect.

“Now we have seen home violence prosecutions dismissed in document numbers for mere technical violations of discovery guidelines, leaving susceptible survivors with out urgently wanted orders of safety and dashed hopes of justice,” mentioned the letter, which was signed by representatives from greater than a dozen teams, together with Sanctuary for Households and the Met Council.

“Simply as alarming, we’re seeing prosecutors plead down or adjourn in contemplation of dismissal severe home violence instances as a result of they’re too overburdened with overwhelming discovery compliance to offer survivors at grave threat of hazard with the safety they want.”

Hochul’s proposal, leaked to The Put up final week, would enable judges to resolve whether or not prosecutors are in “substantial” compliance on discovery, reasonably than solely function beneath the present regs, which require all proof to be turned over most often inside 20 days of arraignment.

Senate Majority Leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Senate Majority Chief, Andrea Stewart-Cousins has come out in opposition to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposal.
Hans Pennink

The teams argued that the present state of affairs is forcing prosecutors to chop plea offers or results in costs being dropped altogether due to the restrictions.

The state’s district attorneys affiliation for prosecutors — who embrace Bronx DA Darcel Clark, Queens DA Melinda Katz, Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez and Staten Island DA Michael McMahon — additionally authored a letter supporting the adjustments. Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg was not amongst those that signed the letter.

Hochul should nonetheless promote Heastie and Stewart-Cousins on the adjustments, which the pair have given a cold reception to.

The measure would probably have to be included in Hochul’s $216 billion state price range proposal, which is due by April 1.

“I believe the final sense is that no one in our convention is eager to go backwards,” Stewart-Cousins advised reporters in Albany earlier this week. “Completely not.

Bronx County District Attorney Darcel Clark
Bronx County District Legal professional Darcel Clark and quite a few different DAs signed a letter in help of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed adjustments.
Pacific Press/LightRocket by way of Ge

“We’re not going again to a spot that we weren’t at earlier than we even started the dialogue on bail [reforms], ” she added.

Neither Heastie or Stewart-Cousins returned requests for remark from The Put up on Friday.

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