In New York State and specifically as it pertains to criminal cases, it is an acceptable and legal practice to withhold important information from a defendant until the very moment of trial. This is not because the information is unavailable; it is because the prosecution does not have to turn the information over earlier. In essence, prosecutors are not required by law to hand over police reports, prior testimony, and any other evidence to the defendant until trial begins, and in some cases, not until the first witness takes the stand. A prosecutor does not even have to turn over evidence that might help a defendant or cast doubt on his guilt unless the prosecutor thinks it is important.
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Miguel Santana, United States2 years ago Comments: Changing the current discovery process in New York to one that requires a more open and early exchange of information will: 1) help innocent or over-charged defendants fairly prepare for trial; 2) prevent wrongful convictions and; 3) be a more efficient use of resources such as time and money.
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