Harvey Weinstein appears in Manhattan criminal court for a preliminary hearing...

Harvey Weinstein appears in Manhattan criminal court for a preliminary hearing on May 1. Credit: AP/Steven Hirsch

ALBANY — A key lawmaker said Tuesday the effort to rewrite criminal procedure law in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s overturned conviction is dead for this year.

The chief sponsor of the bill in the state Assembly, Westchester Democrat Amy Paulin, told Newsday the bill is “not happening” before the State Legislature adjourns for the year next week.

Multiple sources said many Assembly Democrats, while wanting to support sexual assault victims, said a proposed rewrite of criminal procedure law to give prosecutors more leverage would have gone too far, disadvantaged poor defendants and potentially increased wrongful convictions.

A closed-door meeting last week was a “disaster,” one Democrat said, with some believing the legislation was an overreaction and rushed. Paulin’s offer to amend the bill did not resuscitate it — especially given the State Legislature is scheduled to adjourn for the year next week.

Weinstein, 72, was convicted in New York in 2020 of a criminal sex act for forcibly performing oral sex on a TV and film production assistant in 2006, and rape in the third degree for an attack on an aspiring actress in 2013. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

He also has been convicted in California in a similar case.

Now, he is headed for a new trial in New York after the state’s highest court in April ruled the judge in the case made decisions that “undermined” Weinstein’s ability to present a defense.

Specifically, the Court of Appeals cited the allowing of testimony from women who said they were assaulted by Weinstein in the past but whose allegations were not part of the charges.

Paulin proposed changing the law to specifically allow prosecutors to bring up past incidents involving a defendant at sexual assault trials, contending such proceedings were different from others.

The State Senate approved the bill last week. But it didn’t fly in the Assembly, which traditionally has been more resistant to giving prosecutors more power.

Defense attorneys, liberal Democrats and even some Republicans said the legislation contained wording that was legally problematic: Past acts can be used to show a “propensity” to engage in similar wrongful acts.

Laurette Mulry, attorney-in-charge at the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, said this was troubling because “what you’re saying is if the person could have been guilty of this before, then they certainly could be guilty of this now.”

Last Friday, Paulin offered to drop the language but, with the clock ticking on the session, it did not change the bill’s chances for now.

A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports. Credit: Newsday Staff

Updated now A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports.

A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports. Credit: Newsday Staff

Updated now A Newsday analysis shows the number of referees and umpires has declined 25.2% in Nassau and 18.1% in Suffolk since 2011-12. Officials and administrators say the main reason is spectator behavior. NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports.

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