CBS Albany falsely attributes a person’s release to bail reform and repeats fearmongering talking points from police to smear new discovery reform that brought New York in line with the rest of the country and provides the accused access to important information about a case with critical protections for crime victims and witnesses.
A man charged with first degree robbery, a bail-eligible offense, was released after allegedly stealing a person’s wallet. The article wrongly states that he was released “under the new bail laws.” This is simply untrue.
The article goes on to cite Glenville Police Chief Stephen Janik, who says that witnesses are not coming forward because of fear of retaliation due to discovery reform. Neither the Police Chief nor the article mention that the new discovery laws not only allow for protective orders to conceal witness information if there is a potential risk to their safety. In fact, the new law actually expands the grounds upon which prosecutors can secure these protective orders beyond what existed previously. Violating such a protective order is now a new crime.
This coverage once again demonstrates not only the pitfalls of relying on police sources for stories about criminal justice reform but the free platform that reform opponents are repeatedly provided to spread messages of disinformation and fear unchecked by the media.