August 21, 2018

Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Nick Perry Statement on Prosecutorial Accountability

This creation of a commission on prosecutorial conduct is an important step in ensuring we have a fair and equitable criminal justice system here in New York. The law will create an 11-member commission appointed by the governor, legislature and chief judge to investigate and recommend sanctions when appropriate for prosecutors found to have engaged in misconduct in the performance of their duties. It will also provide important due process protections for prosecutors including discovery, advance notice of hearings and the ability to present evidence, witnesses and cross-examine witnesses. Given that the decisions prosecutors make impact people's lives and liberty, it is crucial that they be held to the highest standards of accountability.

In the Assembly Majority, we have worked hard to craft and promote policies that ensure every New Yorker is treated with fairness in our courts, and this law builds on our criminal justice successes. Just last year, we made Raise the Age the law of the land, delivering a justice system that recognizes the difference between a child and an adult.

While we are proud of these achievements, we still have more work to do. Earlier this year, the Assembly passed legislation to bring sanity and fairness to our criminal justice system, from reforming cash bail to reducing the use of solitary confinement, ending the use of racial and ethnic profiling, increasing transparency in grand jury proceedings and establishing a special prosecutor to investigate when a civilian dies in, or after being in, law enforcement custody.

New Yorkers can count on us to continue the fight to build an equitable justice system for all.