In April 2019, New York State passed sweeping criminal justice legislation, strictly curtailing the use of cash bail and pretrial detention; overhauling rules governing discovery, or the sharing of evidence between the prosecution and defense; and strengthening measures intended to ensure a defendant's right to a speedy trial. The measures go into effect in January 2020. This summary explores the major provisions and potential implications of the reforms to discovery practices.
Our analysis finds the accelerated discovery timeline may shrink case processing times, resulting in shorter jail stays for defendants held in pretrial detention. By facilitating the defendant’s ability to prepare a defense, the changes may also result in fewer prison or jail sentences.