Critics seek change to law they say fuels fear of retaliation for crime victims

Critics of the state's bail and discovery reform laws are calling for change to a system they say further victimizes the victims of crime.

News 12 Staff

Apr 28, 2021, 10:05 PM

Updated 1,080 days ago

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Critics of the state's bail and discovery reform laws are calling for change to a system they say further victimizes the victims of crime.
With crimes against Asian Americans on the rise, many say the fear of coming forward to report crimes is a problem.
During an anti-Asian bias hearing last month, Nassau residents told lawmakers the problem is a section in the New York state discovery reform laws that requires prosecutors to turn over contact information of victims and witnesses to the defense. Residents say that fuels fear of retaliation.
"If we can't protect the victims, if we can't make it easier for the public to complain, how are law enforcement people going to enforce if it is so complicated?" asks Bobby Kuman, of the Nassau County Human Rights Commission.
Nassau GOP legislators sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and leading state lawmakers calling for an amendment to the law. They say if it doesn't change, the law will make it less likely that hate crimes will be reported and prosecuted.
"It will help us to stamp out hate crime," says Richard Nicollelo, presiding officer of the Nassau Legislature. "It will help us to encourage victims to come forward. It'll help us to encourage witnesses to come forward because we will be able to ensure their safety, ensure their privacy in this matter."
Theresa Louie, of the Chinese American Association of North Hempstead, says it needs to be easier for people to come forward without the fear of being targeted.


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