Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2

DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

PRESIDENT

SCOTT D. MCNAMARA

PRESIDENT-ELECT

DAVID SOARES

ALBANY COUNTY

1st VICE PRESIDENT SANDRA DOORLEY

MONROE COUNTY

2nd VICE PRESIDENT DAVID HOOVLER

ORANGE COUNTY

ONEIDA COUNTY

D ISTRICT A TTORNEYS A SSOCIATION O F T HE S TATE O F N EW

3rd VICE PRESIDENT

J. ANTHONY JORDAN

WASHINGTON COUNTY

SECRETARY EDWARD D. SASLAW

ADA, QUEENS COUNTY

TREASURER

DANIEL BRESNAHAN

ADA, NASSAU COUNTY

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

DARCEL CLARK

BRONX COUNTY

JON E. BUDELMANN

CAYUGA COUNTY

WEEDEN A. WETMORE

CHEMUNG COUNTY

NYS Assemblymember Carl Heastie Room 892, Legislative Office Building Albany, NY 12248

June 19, 2018

RE: A5825C/S2412D

JOSEPH A. MCBRIDE

CHENANGO COUNTY

ANDREW J. WYLIE

CLINTON COUNTY

JOHN FLYNN

ERIE COUNTY

Mr. Speaker and Members of the Assembly:

KRISTY L. SPRAGUE

ESSEX COUNTY

LAWRENCE FRIEDMAN

GENESEE COUNTY

MARSHA K. PURDUE

HAMILTON COUNTY

JEFFREY S. CARPENTER

HERKIMER COUNTY

KRISTYNA S. MILLS

JEFFERSON COUNTY

LEANNE K. MOSER

LEWIS COUNTY

WILLIAM GABOR

MADISON COUNTY

MADELINE SINGAS

NASSAU COUNTY

CYRUS R. VANCE, JR.*

NEW YORK COUNTY

WILLIAM J. FITZPATRICK*

ONO NDAGA COUNTY

GREGORY S. OAKES

OSWEGO COUNTY

New York’s district attorneys agree that the disciplinary process for lawyers in New York is broken and in need of reform, however we strongly oppose the costly, duplicative, and unconstitutional bill pending before the Assembly to create a Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, A5825C/S2412D. Instead, we call for long-overdue reforms to the grievance and disciplinary process that governs all attorneys.

The New York State Justice Task Force was convened in 2009 by former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and continued under Chief Judge DiFiore with the mission of eradicating the systemic and individual harms caused by wrongful convictions, and to recommend reforms to safeguards to prevent them. The Task Force specifically examined and considered the investigation and discipline of prosecutorial misconduct, and in a February 2017 report, 1 rejected the creation of a Commission on Prosecutorial Misconduct in favor of steps to equip existing Grievance Committees to properly handle criminal justice matters.

RICHARD A. BROWN*

QUEENS COUNTY

THOMAS P. ZUGIBE*

ROCKLAND COUNTY

KAREN HEGGEN

SARATOGA COUNTY

ROBERT M. CARNEY*

SCHENECTADY COUNTY

JOSEPH G. FAZZARY

SCHUYLER COUNTY

BRIDGET G. BRENNAN

SPECIAL NARCOTICS

HOLLEY CARNRIGHT

ULSTER COUNTY

DONALD O’GEEN

WYOMING COUNTY

* PAST PRESIDENT OF DAASNY

Specifically, the Task Force recommended:

Grievance Committees should include active practitioners from both the prosecution and defense bars who have substantial experience and expertise in the

criminal justice system. All Grievance Committee members should be provided with specialized training

on the standards relating to criminal matters. Grievance Committees should initiate investigations where a finding of attorney misconduct—either prosecutorial misconduct or ineffective assistance of counsel by a defense attorney- has been made in a court decision.

The Justice Task Force is the most comprehensive and diverse assembly of stakeholders that has reviewed and opined on this issue. Task force is co-chaired by former

1 New York State Justice Task Force, Report on Attorney Responsibility in Criminal Cases, February 2017,

available at http://www.nyjusticetaskforce.com/pdfs/2017JTF-AttorneyDisciplineReport.pdf

3 COLUMBIA PLACE, ALBANY, NEW YORK 12210

TEL: (518) 598-8968

EMAIL: PRESIDENT@DAASNY.ORG

WWW.DAASNY.ORG

DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

Court of Appeals Judge Carmen Beauchamp Cipatrick and Judge Mark Dwyer. Its permanent members include judges, executive branch officials, leaders from the defense bar, and both houses of the legislature are represented with ex-officio members.

The Task Force rightly recognized that the proposed Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct would create a second, duplicative level of oversight for prosecutors that could impair our work, our ability to recruit qualified and ethical attorneys to serve, and could saddle taxpayers with the costly burden of defending assistant district attorneys against frivolous allegations before two, overlapping tribunals. We also have serious concerns as to the constitutionality of this legislation.

We acknowledge the power and discretion attending our responsibilities as prosecutors, but professional misconduct by any attorney--prosecutors, defense attorneys, securities lawyers, government attorneys— should be subject to robust investigation and discipline by competent, well-functioning Grievance Committees. This problematic legislation does nothing to provide that.

We encourage the Assembly to reject this legislation, and to work to remedy issues plaguing attorney discipline fairly and equitably, with the same rules, standards and process for all lawyers.

Sincerely,

D ISTRICT A TTORNEYS A SSOCIATION OF THE S TATE OF N EW Y ORK Court

Scott McNamara President, DAASNY District Attorney, Oneida County

2