District attorneys scrambling on how to pay for changes in justice reform legislation

Emily Burkhard & WNYT Staff
Updated: July 31, 2019 07:53 PM
Created: July 31, 2019 06:52 PM

New York state lawmakers passed sweeping justice reform legislation earlier this year aimed at creating a more fair and timely justice system. Now, district attorneys across the state are scrambling to figure out how to pay for the changes.

The changes include bail reform and discovery reform.


The discovery reform bill - which takes effect January 1 - forces district attorneys to collect and hand over all evidence to the defense in just over two weeks.  Local district attorneys tell NewsChannel 13 that will be incredibly costly to implement.

Bail reform legislation eliminates cash bail for people charged with misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. The goal is to prevent people that can't afford bail from being stuck in jail while they await trial, but some believe it will lead to more people fleeing and expensive costs to track them down.

Hear reaction from Albany County District Attorney David Soares, by watching the video of Emily Burkhard's story.

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