Thursday, February 13, 2020
D.A. Vance plans to overlook a bulk of cases because of work overload from bail reform law
There may end up being a startling and some say worrisome consequence of New York’s controversial criminal justice reform laws.
CBS2’s Marcia Kramer has learned that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is considering dropping some cases over an inability to comply with new evidence rules.
Overwhelmed by paperwork and what he calls the “unsustainable hours” required to comply with the new so-called “discovery” rules enacted by state lawmakers as part of the new laws, Vance is considering the drastic step of simply letting some bad guys off the hook, not indicting them, Kramer reported.
“We are evaluating whether to defer or even decline prosecution in certain classes of cases,” Vance said in a Jan. 24 email to the approximately 500 assistant district attorneys who work for him.
CBS2 urban affairs expert Mark Peters said Vance is being driven to consider the extreme solution by new rules that require prosecutors to turn over evidence to defense attorneys within 15 days of an arrest.
“That’s a real public safety concern,” Peters said. “Whenever you’ve got a situation where prosecutors feel like they need to start declining cases — not because they don’t have enough evidence, not because they’re not convinced of guilt, but simply because the burdens of discovery make it impossible to get the work done — that’s going to impact public safety"
How much work was Cy overloaded with when he blew off witness accounts of Harvey Weinstein's sexual assaults and Donald Trump and his kin's screwing over their clients from his former Soho building?