The publication “Pro Publica” explored the issue of possible prosecutorial abuse in the manner that material witnesses have sometimes been compelled to testify. Though laws exist that outline the steps necessary in such cases, evidence suggests some prosecutors may be ignoring the legal requirements and, instead, running “a rogue operation.”
At the request of “Pro Publica,” Pace Law Professor Bennett Gershman examined the laws of New York State and compared them with those of neighboring New Jersey where a commission has recently reviewed the pertinent laws.
As quoted in the article, Professor Gershman says, “These are strong-arm tactics under the guise of something that looks official to bring people into the D.A.’s office or hotel room or some other place where the witness is being held secretly incommunicado and the witness is interrogated,” said Gershman, who has closely followed the New York cases involving material witnesses. “It’s possible that material witness order laws are being bypassed in New York as a matter of policy.”
The entire article can be read here.