On January 1, 2020, New York State replaced its discovery law with a new statute requiring the sharing of evidence between the prosecution and defense on an accelerated timeline. Three months later, the statute was amended, relaxing the timeline and limiting disclosure of certain witnesses’ identifying information.
Even under the less stringent guidelines, the reform may shrink case processing times. Moreover, by facilitating the defendant’s ability to prepare a defense—potentially removing an incentive to accept an unfavorable plea deal—the reform may also result in fewer prison or jail sentences.
This full report and summary explain the major components of discovery reform, incorporating the recent amendments.