STATEN ISLAND — Staten Island lawmakers want to make grand jury proceedings more transparent in the wake of the Eric Garner decision.
"There is no reason the public should be denied the opportunity to view information presented after the grand jury has made its final recommendations," Savino said in a statement.
"Whenever you have a case like that of Eric Garner, it is important that people can still trust in the legal system. The only way to do that is with complete transparency of the facts presented."
Under current New York state law, prosecutors are prevented from releasing information on the grand jury, but District Attorneys can petition the judge to release it.
While District Attorney Dan Donovan did request Judge Stephen Rooney disclose some information on the grand jury that voted to not indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Garner, it did not include key parts of the proceedings.
Donovan did not ask to release transcripts of testimony or medical and forensic evidence presented to the jury, but instead basic information about eyewitnesses and experts who spoke.
The information released, most of which had been previously reported in the news, included the fact that the grand jury sat for nine weeks, heard from 50 witnesses and saw 60 “exhibits” including four videos.
The decision not to indict Pantaleo has sparked days of protests across the city.
The proposed law would allow the public to view the same information the grand jurors did, Titone said.
"We recognize and fully appreciate the need to protect witnesses and jurors in the Grand Jury process, however the public trust and confidence in our justice system must be addressed and reforms implemented," Titone said in a statement. "The Eric Garner case clearly demonstrates this."