Advocates push for bail reform after suicide

A Bronx council member and community advocates are pushing for legislation that would require prosecutors to quickly turn over information in criminal cases. The call

Local advocates are pushing for legislation that would require prosecutors to quickly turn over information in a criminal case. The call for change comes after the recent suicide of 22-year-old Kalief Browder, who spent three years at Riker's Island waiting for a trial after he was accused of stealing a backpack.

Local advocates are pushing for legislation that would require prosecutors to quickly turn over information in a criminal case. The call for change comes after the recent suicide of 22-year-old Kalief Browder, who spent three years at Riker's Island waiting for a trial after he was accused of stealing a backpack. (6/18/15)

THE BRONX - Local advocates are pushing for legislation that would require prosecutors to quickly turn over information in a criminal case.

The call for change comes after the recent suicide of 22-year-old Kalief Browder, who spent three years at Riker's Island waiting for a trial after he was accused of stealing a backpack.

Browder's alleged physical abuse by correctional officers and other inmates was captured on surveillance video.

His case was later dismissed by the Bronx District Attorney's Office. Browder later committed suicide.

Bronx Councilman Andy King is now calling for change in the state's justice system and how information is released in criminal cases.

His proposed legislation would require open and early discovery. Discovery is the process in which a defense lawyer finds what evidence a prosecutor has against their client.

"Because you are not financially able to get yourself out of situation, you sit in jail awaiting for the D.A. to figure out what to do with the case," he says.

Paul Prestia, the lawyer for Browder's family, has filed a lawsuit for civil rights violations and is seeking damages.

Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson calls the actions to amend the state's discovery laws misguided, saying in a statement "While we do agree that earlier discovery could assist in making decisions about whether or not to plead, that alone cannot be the criteria. We must carefully balance that with the need to protect witnesses."

Councilman King says that the state Assembly has already given his legislation the green light, but the Senate is dragging its feet in passing it.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

VIDEO: NYPD officers in same precinct discover they 1 VIDEO: NYPD officers in same precinct discover they are sisters
A 21-year-old woman died after being shot in 2 Man in custody in Tinton Ave. slaying
A 46-year-old man was shot in the chest 3 Police: Man shot dead after dispute in the Bronx
A pizzeria in Belmont that's been in the 4 Boogie Down Bites: Pugsley Pizza
A 46-year-old man was shot in the chest 5 Police: Man shot dead after dispute in the Bronx; suspect in custody

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Supporters of a man who killed himself after Browder supporters seek prison reform after suicide

Supporters of a man who killed himself after being wrongly imprisoned gathered outside a Manhattan

Kalief Browder, 21, took his own life after Teen's death brings calls for criminal justice reform

Kalief Browder, 21, took his own life after spending almost three years at Rikers Island

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE