Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act
To coordinate statewide defense efforts, in 2019, ILS established and supports a statewide defender task force, which has 32 members. Penal Law § 60.12, as amended effective May 14, 2019, sets forth alternative sentences for defendants who can establish that they were victims of domestic violence and meet statutory criteria. In addition, the DVSJA provides for resentencing relief. Effective August 12, 2019, new CPL 440.47 allows for resentencing applications by defendants who were victims of domestic violence and meet statutory criteria. Before inmates can make motions for resentencing and assignment of counsel, they must first obtain permission to do so from the sentencing judge by establishing that they meet threshold eligibility criteria. Below are some materials that may be helpful to attorneys handling DVSJA resentencing applications.
NYC - What is DVSJA? [pdf]
NYC - DVSJA Application Chart [pdf]
NYC - DVSJA Checklist [pdf]
NYC - Affidavit Template [pdf]
NYC - Instructions for Filling out Form Affidavit [pdf]
NYC - Instructions in Spanish [pdf]
Onondaga County Bar Association Assigned Counsel Program Materials
DVSJA Statewide Defender Task Force
To coordinate and support statewide efforts, a 32-member Statewide Defender Task Force was established by the New York State criminal defense bar in January 2020. Co-chairs Kate Skolnick of the Center for Appellate Litigation and Alan Rosenthal of Syracuse plan to focus on analyzing DVSJA challenges for sentencing and resentencing and developing strategies to meet those challenges; drafting legal memoranda regarding relevant issues; staying abreast of DVSJA trial and appellate-level litigation around the State; developing and sharing practice materials statewide on relevant websites and listservs; and establishing a DVSJA training program for criminal defense attorneys.
Attorney Support Project
NYSDA has launched a DVSJA Attorney Support Project. With the support of the DVSJA Statewide Defender Task Force and Brooklyn Law School’s Survivor Justice Project, NYSDA will provide direct support services for attorneys working on DVSJA cases, including Penal Law § 60.12 prospective sentencing cases and CPL 440.47 resentencing cases. Attorneys seeking advice and assistance on DVSJA cases should contact Stephanie Batcheller or (518) 465-3524 ext. 41. For more information, go to https://www.nysda.org/page/DVSJA.
The Brooklyn Law School Criminal Defense & Advocacy Clinic is working on DVSJA implementation and cases. The clinic can serve as a resource for defenders regarding CPL 440.47 resentencing motions and, in limited instances, may be able to co-counsel on cases or accept referrals. For technical/research assistance or for more information, contact Prof. Kate Mogulescu: email@example.com.
The Incarcerated Gender Violence Survivors Initiative (“IGVSI”) is working on DVSJA implementation and cases. The IGVSI can serve as a resource regarding CPL 440.47 resentencing motions, particularly with respect to advising on issues of intimate partner violence, trauma, and recommending IPV and trauma-related resources and experts. In limited instances, members of the Initiative may be able to co-counsel on cases or accept referrals. For more information, contact IGVSI@sffny.org
The Complexity of Sentencing under the DVSJA, Atticus, Vol. 32 No. 2, Spring 2020 [pdf]
Domestic Violence Survivor-Defendants: New Hope for Humane and Just Outcomes, State Bar Journal, March 2020 [pdf]
DVSJA: A Sentencing Challenge for Judges, NYLJ, April 15, 2020 [pdf]
Incarcerated Women Helped Draft NY Law to Free Domestic Violence Survivors
DVSJA Resentencing Options, Prisoners Legal Services of NY, Pro Se Newsletter, Aug. 2019 [pdf]