SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (WETM) — The New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA) honored the Steuben County Public Defender Office at its annual conference.
Along with three public defenders from New York City, the Steuben County Public Defender Office was awarded the Jonathan E. Gradess Service of Justice Award. According to NYSDA, this award recognizes the attorneys for upholding New York State’s discovery reform.
Discovery reform allows people accused of crimes to learn what evidence prosecutors plan to use against them in a timely manner. NYSDA stated that implementation of this reform has been resisted, and the reform has faced legislative rollback threats.
NYSDA Executive Director Susan C. Bryant said the Steuben County Public Defender Office has been “working continuously, from the time discovery reform was passed by the legislature, to ensure that the intent and letter of those reforms were fulfilled.” Additionally, Bryant said the office “not only achieved successful outcomes for its clients but also shared their successful strategies with NYSDA for the benefit of others” when discovery reform was under threat.
Steuben County Public Defender Shawn M. Sauro accepted the Jonathan E. Gradess Service of Justice Award on the Steuben County Public Defender Office’s behalf at a banquet on July 31. This award was named after NYSDA’s founding executive director. The award honors those who have supported NYSDA and the public defender community.