New York State recently passed a series of powerful new laws reforming the bail and discovery process. Many district attorneys were dismayed at the rules, which take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. Critics, which include many police departments and DAs, argue the rules make it harder to bring suspects to justice. But a series of presentations by a Nassau County assistant district attorney seems to offer tips for how to subvert the new laws and keep people locked up until their trial.
ADA Jed Painter has been giving the presentations as part of the New York Prosecutors Training Institute (NYPTI), the training arm of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY). The presentation, which is available as a podcast on the NYPTI website, discourages DAs from requesting that police pick up someone with a felony warrant until after 30 days, saying, “don’t be their Uber.” The new laws allow a person to be arrested for bail jumping after 30 days and held until trial.
Other advice included requesting judges mandate a daily check-in which, if missed, would qualify as “willfully and persistently” failing to appear, and can again result in being arrested and held.
Painter insisted that his presentation is intended to help prosecutors work within the new rules, but even some critics of the reforms say the advice offered is “disingenuous.”
“A district attorney’s office that is sending someone out to go train people across the state on how to subvert the law is extremely problematic,” added Erin George, civil rights campaigns director at Citizen Action of New York, which supports the new laws.