By Discovery for Justice Team:
After 7 years of fighting, Discovery for Justice is pleased to announce that the Blindfold Law has been finally REPEALED! As part of a transformative criminal justice reform package included in the New York State budget, Governor Cuomo signed into law a complete overhaul of New York’s Discovery law. This follows nearly half a century of "trial by ambush" where people were forced to accept plea deals or go to trial without ever knowing the evidence in their cases and made New York third in the country in wrongful convictions.
Evidence is the bedrock of our criminal justice system. For too long, New York State blindfolded the accused and forced them to fight for their freedom not knowing what was being used against them. With the passage of the Discovery for Justice Reform Act, New York will become a leader in justice and fairness when it comes to discovery. The State of New York cannot afford to put those who are innocent behind bars. New York State legislators, by passing the Discovery for Justice Reform Act, will help increase trust in our system by requiring open, early and automatic discovery.
We just also wanted to note that without grassroots efforts, none of this would have been possible. Without community members, faith based communities, Union members, Veterans, Clergy, Retirees, Law Enforcement, Students, Moms, Dads, Brothers, and Sisters who took part and became involved with Discovery for Justice, the Blindfold Law would still be in the books, forcing those who are accused to make life altering decisions blind to the evidence. This achievement is a reflection of the dedication of our members who took part in our meetings, came with us to Albany and made the necessary sacrifices to rid New York State of this insidious law.
We stuck together on this issue. Together we made it happen. We made New York fairer for everyone. Today is proof that people who stay united and dedicated, can accomplish anything.