NYSDA: New Initiatives, Continuing Advocacy and Assistance
This is NYSDA's forty-seventh year of working to improve the quality and scope of public defense representation across New York State. The year has seen new and reinvigorated initiatives along with a continuation of time-honored services.
The Veteran's Defense Program (VDP) came into being in April. Almost immediately, the VDP began advocating for legislation to divert from the criminal justice system individuals whose involvement in the court system may be related to their military service. This work will continue when the Legislature returns. Meanwhile, the VDP staff will be offering backup services to public defense lawyers and others to assist justice-involved veterans in criminal and family court cases.
NYSDA completed the 2014 Defender Institute Basic Trial Skills Program on June 13th. BTSP retains the client-centered approach that has brought it recognition while honing new approaches to best help lawyers going into court twenty-seven years after the Program debuted. The Association offers a range of other Continuing Legal Education programs as well.
Through its website, newsletter, and other communications media and publications, NYSDA offers a variety of information to lawyers, clients, and others. A yearly summary of actions and activities is available in our annual reports. Information about public defense issues is available on our website, drawn from a variety of sources, such as the new National Association for Public Defense.
Settle Hurrell-Harring, Create a Statewide, Independent Public Defense System NYSDA continues to advocate for settlement of a pending lawsuit, Hurrell-Harring v State of New York et al, in a way that leads New York into creation of a statewide, fully and adequately state funded public defense system headed by an Independent Public Defense Commission.
Breaking News and Updates
Prisoner Exonerations Are at an All-Time High, and It’s Not Because of DNA Testing, ABA J. Law News Now, Sep 1, 2014
Conference of Chief Justices Endorses Proposed National Center for the Right To Counsel, Sixth Amend. Ctr., Aug. 28, 2014
How Police Can Reduce Wrongful Convictions, The Crime Rep., Aug. 27, 2014
NYCLU Unveils ‘Wheel of Justice’ Game to Highlight NY’s Broken Public Defense System, NYCLU Press Rel., Aug. 27, 2014
Housing Restrictions Keep Sex Offenders in Prison Beyond Release Dates, NY Times, Aug. 21, 2014
Kentucky Supreme Court Affirms That Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Waivers in Plea Agreements Are Ethically Suspect, Sentencing Law and Policy, Aug. 21, 2014