NYCLU Statement on New Discovery Law

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
February 6, 2020 10:00 am

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

NEW YORK — On Sunday, Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez, who was a witness in an upcoming criminal trial, was found dead outside of his home. Multiple reports have tried to blame this tragedy on the recently passed discovery law.

In response to this misinformation, the New York Civil Liberties Union released the following statement from Executive Director, Donna Lieberman:

“The death of Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez is a tragedy, but it has nothing do with recent criminal justice reforms. New York’s discovery law allows for protective orders, so that the identity of witnesses can be kept confidential. In fact, the new law gives courts more power to grant protective orders, including when defendants have a history of witness intimidation and to protect informants. In this case, the judge could and should have retained the protective order. It is irresponsible to mislead the public about the facts and exploit this tragedy.”

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

Learn More About the Issues in This Press Release