New York State will soon enable accused criminals to inspect their own criminal scenes and provide them with a complete list of named witnesses testifying against them as part of a series of new jailbreak laws.
As reported by Breitbart News, the bail reforms in New York, set to come into effect in January 2020, will ensure that suspects charged with crimes deemed “non-violent” are not imprisoned before their trial dates and do not have to post bail. Alternatively, these offenders are released to the public immediately and expected to appear on their court dates. Every year in the state, nearly 125,000 convicted criminals are expected to be released from jail.
These so-called non-violent crimes include second-degree murder, aggravated vehicular assault, a child’s promotion of obscene sexual performance, an obscene child’s sexual performance, gross negligent homicide, and aggravated vehicular homicide.
As part of the plan, in their criminal trials, suspects will have additional privileges— including being able to view their own crime scenes. Of instance, if a person is charged with a home robbery, the suspect will be able to return to the home of the victim to check their property as part of their defense.
The part of the law would send the accused a complete list of identified witnesses testifying against them in the criminal trial more easily. The prosecutor will be forced to hand over a list of identified witnesses to the accused within 15 days of the arraignment, starting in January.
Seth Barron and Ralf Mangual of the Manhattan Institute argued in June that such a clause would make it impossible for prosecutors to guarantee the safety of witnesses through the criminal trial process:
Prosecutors will no longer be able to assure witnesses that their identity will be protected, even in the case of grand jury testimony, which the new law will now require be disclosed. (While there’s a provision to ask a judge for a protective order to shield a name, that would come after cops and prosecutors talk to witnesses to make an arrest and build a case.)
Manhattan DA Cy Vance put it this way: “Having to hand defendants a roster of who has spoken out against them just 15 days after their first appearance, absent a protective order, is a seismic change that undoubtedly will dissuade witnesses who live in all neighborhoods from reporting crime.”