I note that New York's new discovery reform laws, which take effect on Wednesday, contain a double-edged provision that might threaten victims of crime.
Have you ever made a call to 911 to report a crime?
Next year if you do, your contact information will end up in the hands of the suspect police arrest.
It’s a new reality of New York's discovery reform laws taking effect just 12 days from now on January 1st.
. . .
Albany County District Attorney David Soares is dreading the conversations he knows we will have to have with crime victims.
“By the way, I have to provide your cell phone number to his lawyer in a few weeks. I don’t know how I’m going to have these conversations with a victim,” Soares said.
. . .
Come January 1st, 2020, he says state law will mandate prosecutors hand over the contact information of victims and witnesses to criminal defendants within 15 days of arraignment. Even if the witness wants to remain anonymous or gives false information to protect their identity, Soares says he will have to reveal the tipster's identity.
“There are people who call 911, report a crime and hang up the phone. In two weeks, I have to turn over your real information,” Soares said.
There's more at the link.
I can see legitimate reasons for this provision in the law. If you've been reported by a nosy neighbor who calls in reports on anyone she can see from her bedroom window; if you've been the victim of someone who's making false reports about you in the hope that you'll be "swatted"; if you've broken up with a former partner who's now out for revenge; all these and other circumstances might be good reason for you to know who's reported you. They may help to cut short a number of criminal prosecutions before they start.
On the other hand, what if you've been raped, and reported the crime to the police, and they caught the rapist? He may have known you only as "that woman in the park". Now he'll also know your name and address. What's the betting that he might have his buddies show up and threaten you (or worse) in an attempt to get you to withdraw the charge? What if you reported an act of dangerous driving by a motorcyclist, and his buddies in the biker gang are now after you to take revenge for your "disrespect"?
I don't think they thought this law through sufficiently . . .