OTSEGO COUNTY (WUTR-TV) — On Thursday, Eyewitness News spoke with Oneida County District Attorney, Scott McNamara, to learn how the NYS discovery reform is taking a toll on the DA’s office. McNamara says work has been piling up. On Friday, Otsego County District Attorney, John Muehl, says the same.
“I expected it to be bad, but it’s much worse than I expected it to be,” says Muehl.
The new state discovery reform requires prosecutors to turn over all evidence to defense within 15 days of when the defendant was arraigned.
There’s 1 full-time assistant district attorney, and 4 part-time assistant district attorneys at the Otsego County DA’s office. Before these new reforms, Muehl says the office was able to handle the workload of cases.
“There’s no reason defense needs it in 15 days to do anything — give us 45 days that would make our lives much, much easier.” Muehl says because of these reforms, not as many cases will be prosecuted. “…simply because we don’t have the time…we’re only prosecuting the most serious cases which is really an insult to the justice system because I didn’t sign up to let people walk.”