Removing The Blindfold

Photo: KARSTEN MORAN | The New York Times

With pending felony charges on his record, Aaron Cedres lost his job. Then his apartment. Then his car. Shortly after that, Aaron’s longtime girlfriend moved into her mother’s house along with the couple’s infant daughter, leaving Aaron homeless and with no place to turn.

Fortunately, because of the persistent efforts of the Society which served as his counsel, the charges against Aaron were eventually dropped, and he is slowly but surely getting back on his feet. But why did Aaron have to live through the darkest year and a half of his life?

The answer, sadly, is rooted in New York State law. Every day, thousands of innocent New Yorkers are subjected to the troubles that Aaron lived through because of our state’s restrictive Discovery Laws. These laws prevent defendants and their lawyers from viewing crucial pieces of evidence until just hours before trials. By withholding evidence that would exonerate these defendants, prosecutors can force innocent individuals into unfair plea deals, or, like Aaron, upend their lives with pending charges.

The Legal Aid Society is on the frontlines of the fight to repeal these damaging Blindfold Laws. We are working tirelessly to give our clients a fair chance in the courtroom. Share Aaron’s story and join us in our fight to Remove the Blindfold. With your help, we can offer true justice to all New Yorkers.