University of Pretrial Library

Discovery Reform in New York - CCI 2019 

06-07-2019 14:03

From the full report: On April 1, 2019, New York State passed sweeping criminal justice reform legislation, including discovery reform, requiring prosecutors to disclose their evidence to the defense earlier in case proceedings. This document summarizes the new discovery statute, which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. Discovery reform repeals and replaces New York State’s existing discovery law, dubbed the “blindfold” law, with a new statute: Article 245 of the Criminal Procedure Law. The reform requires significantly greater openness and establishes specific timeframes for the sharing of evidence between the prosecution and defense during the pretrial period. With discovery reform, New York joins 46 other states that have adopted comparable “open discovery” laws. By imposing accelerated discovery timelines, the reform may shrink case processing times, resulting in shorter jail stays for defendants held in pretrial detention. By facilitating a defendant’s ability to prepare a defense, the reform may also result in fewer prison or jail sentences.

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