June 2, 2015: Statement by The State Bar Association, the State District Attorneys Association and the Innocence Project

David P. Miranda, President, and Glenn Lau-Kee, Immediate Past President of the New York State Bar Association, Frank A. Sedita III, Erie County District Attorney and President of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York, and Barry Scheck, Co-Founder of the Innocence Project today issued the following statement in announcing that their three organizations have reached a long-sought agreement on a bill to require the recording of custodial interrogations in certain serious crimes and to allow the admissibility of photographic arrays when enhanced identification procedures are used. 

Recording of the custodial interrogation of a suspect and requiring blind or double-blind identification procedures when asking a victim or a witness to identify a suspect are best practices that will protect the innocent and enhance the capability of law enforcement to apprehend and convict the guilty. These reforms will improve public trust and confidence in our criminal justice system.

“The enactment of this single proposal in its entirety will greatly strengthen New York’s criminal justice system by promoting effective and uniform law enforcement, increasing public safety, and helping to address some of the root causes of wrongful convictions.  This legislation builds upon statewide procedures already voluntarily adopted by New York’s Police and District Attorneys but now makes many of them required standard practice.  It is another step forward in New York’s commitment to ensure that the innocent remain free and that the guilty are not free to commit more crimes.  We respectfully call upon the Governor, the Legislative Leaders and the entire Legislature to enact this proposal this year.”

A copy of the legislative proposal supported by our three organizations may be viewed via the following link: http://www.nysba.org/2015_Statement_and_Integrity_Act/

Media Contact:        

Lise Bang-Jensen, Director of Media Services, NYSBA,  (518) 487-5530, lbang-jensen@nysba.org