New York lawmakers have begun examining whether prosecutors statewide need an oversight commission where other lawyers, defendants and the public can bring complaints of misconduct.
At a legislative hearing Wednesday, a law professor and ex-prosecutor who studied the issue and men who spent years in prison on wrongful convictions say egregious behavior by district attorneys and their assistants contributed and has gone unchecked.
District attorneys say prosecutors already can face sanctions from trial judges, deputy DA's can be punished by their bosses and complaints are made to the state's four judicial departments, where cases are kept confidential.
Assemblyman Nick Perry, a Bronx Democrat, and Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Syracuse Republican, have introduced legislation to establish a commission similar to the one that takes complaints about judges.
This story will be updated.