NEW YORK, NY – New York Governor Cuomo has been empowered by the Democrat state legislators to have the power to investigate the state’s prosecutors in another sweeping criminal justice reform that scores one for the bad guys.
Cuomo will now have more tools at his disposal to discipline prosecutors. Cuomo signed legislation (S.3934/A.1634) clarifying and bolstering the powers of the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct. The legislation clarifies the Commission’s power to review complaints of prosecutorial misconduct and refer them to the disciplinary committees of the Appellate Divisions and the Governor’s office.
“The prosecutors who serve New Yorkers every day in the state’s court system should be held to the highest standards of conduct in the exercise of their duties,” Governor Cuomo said. “This legislation improves the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct’s ability to more effectively oversee and discipline prosecutors to make our court system safer and fairer for all. New York’s courts are critical to the functioning of government and the competent administration of justice, and this new law will bolster our ability to do both successfully.”
The legislation, Cuomo says also improves disciplinary oversight of district attorneys and assistant district attorneys and improves the Governor’s ability to remove district attorneys, and by making important changes to the law to reinforce existing constitutional structures, lessens the likelihood of challenge.
One New York Assemblyman says the current system in New York makes it easier for state prosecutors to act dishonestly and in a corrupt manner.
Assembly Member N. Nick Perry said, “Today, justice in the Empire State scores a landmark victory, as New York becomes the first state in the nation to have a government body that holds prosecutors accountable for their conduct. The damage from just one dishonest prosecutor can be devastating. Therefore, the need for all prosecutors to play fair and honest is paramount. The current structure which allows for unchecked conduct of our state’s prosecutors undermines our entire justice system and this new commission will fix that. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law, and making it clear that in New York State we preserve the right for justice in our courts.”
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