Breaking News and Updates

'Dangerousness' Aspect of Cuomo's Bail Plan Troubles Reformers, Gotham Gazette, Jan. 22, 2016
Now with Bipartisan Support, Statewide Public Defense Bill Is NY’s 2016 Priority, NYCLU News, Jan. 21, 2016
Americans Are Bargaining Away Their Innocence, Washington Post, Jan. 20, 2016
Governor’s Progressive Agenda Deserves Support but Must Include Statewide Public Defense, NYCLU News, Jan. 13, 2016
In Angry, Defensive Memo, Manhattan DA’s Office Withdraws Bite Mark Evidence, Washington Post, Jan. 13, 2016
Doctor Who: Expert Testimony in an Eyewitness Identification Case, NY Criminal Defense Blog, Jan. 10, 2016

NYSDA 2016 Budget Testimony Highlights Bill for State Reimbursement of Public Defense, Other Funding Needs. In written and oral testimony at a joint legislative hearing on the FY 2016-2017 State Budget, NYSDA Executive Director Jonathan E. Gradess asked for passage of A.6202-B/S.6341, which would incrementally lead to State reimbursement of all county public defense expenditures within four years, providing mandate relief and maintaining momentum toward full public defense reform. He also testified in support of funding for NYSDA’s Backup Center and Veterans Defense Program (VDP), for the Indigent Legal Service Office (ILS), and other public defense needs.

VDP Report: NYSDA’s Veterans Defense Program released its first Activities Report in November summarizing 18 months of activities and accomplishments. Since spring 2014, VDP has assisted or trained nearly 1,000 veterans and public defenders representing veterans in criminal court and family court systems.

Improving Representation in Family Court: NYSDA works to improve the quality of mandated representation provided to parents and others in Family Court. Almost 200 public defense attorneys attended the state’s first conference on parent defense representation, “Because All Families Matter: Enhancing Parental Defense in New York,” co-sponsored by NYSDA, the Office of Indigent Legal Services (ILS), and NYSUCS Child Welfare Court Improvement Project. ILS has issued new state Standards for Parental Representation in State Intervention Matters; members of NYSDA’s staff were on the Working Group that helped draft the standards.

Statewide Eligibility Standards: ILS is also working to finalize the state’s first-ever statewide standards on eligibility for public defense prospective clients. Executive Director Jonathan E. Gradess submitted NYSDA testimony on this important justice issue at ILS hearings last summer.