NY to Allow Accused Criminals to Inspect Own Crime Scenes, Obtain Swift Access to Witness Names
The state of New York will allow accused criminals to inspect their own crime scenes and swiftly obtain access to witness names, Breitbart is reporting.
The new law, which will go into effect in January, is part of New York’s bail reform measures and will allow “non-violent” alleged criminals to be released back into the public while they wait for their trials.
As Breitbart points out, the “non-violent” offenders include those accused of “include second-degree manslaughter, aggravated vehicular assault, promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child, criminally negligent homicide, and aggravated vehicular homicide.”
The new law, championed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will see cash bail eliminated for 90 percent of criminal cases, enabling defendants to await trial at home.
This move has many New York judges upset.
“And if you go to court, you’ll hear that the judges are very anguished about this,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan. “They’re very concerned the defendants not only will not return to court—but that the defendants pose a public safety risk.”
Judges began releasing accused criminals in November and an estimated 25,000 people will be released by the time the law takes effect, according to Pix 11.
The accused will also be granted access to their own crime scenes. For instance, if a crime happens in someone’s home, the defendant is allowed to return to that person’s home and inspect the scene with their attorneys.
Lt. Steven Stockdale of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office told CBS6 that he will have a difficult time explaining to victims why they must allow criminals back into their homes.
“It really boggles the mind that this is a reality for us now. Talk about re-victimization,” Stockdale said.
The law will also swiftly give accused criminals a list of witness names, with prosecutors being forced to hand them over within 15 days of the defendant’s arraignment.
Breitbart points out that this policy will not allow for witnesses to be protected throughout the trial:
In June, the Manhattan Institute’s Seth Barron and Ralf Mangual wrote that such a provision will make it impossible for prosecutors to ensure witnesses are protected through the criminal trial process:
Prosecutors will no longer be able to assure witnesses that their identity will be protected, even in the case of grand jury testimony, which the new law will now require be disclosed. (While there’s a provision to ask a judge for a protective order to shield a name, that would come after cops and prosecutors talk to witnesses to make an arrest and build a case.) [Emphasis added]
Manhattan DA Cy Vance put it this way: “Having to hand defendants a roster of who has spoken out against them just 15 days after their first appearance, absent a protective order, is a seismic change that undoubtedly will dissuade witnesses who live in all neighborhoods from reporting crime.” [Emphasis added]
For the full report, click HERE.