Accomplishments & Initiatives
The D.A.'s office prosecutes over 9,600 criminal cases and nearly 100,000 vehicle and traffic cases each year. Members of the DA's Office are in the county's 44 justice courts, grand jury and in county court each day to ensure that violators of the law are held accountable. Since taking office in 1998, D.A. Murphy has strengthened criminal prosecutions, expanded the role of the D.A.'s Office in the community, and promoted crime victims' rights. Specifically:
- Achieved one of the highest conviction rates on all indictments, judging each felony on a case by case basis to ensure that justice is served and that victims rights are protected.
Adopted a "no plea bargaining" policy for DWI repeat offenders and established a special DWI Prosecution Unit.
Established a Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit and Task Force, working closely with domestic violence victims service agencies to hold batterers responsible for their criminal conduct.
- Joined the Advisory Board of "Jane Doe No More" (www.janedoenomore.com). The mission of the organization is to shorten the time from crime to healing. Murphy was asked to join the Board after the prosecution of John Regan who was convicted of kidnapping and attempted kidnapping for his crimes in Connecticut and Saratoga County.
Helped victims of rape and sexual abuse by instituting the Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse Examiner (SAFE) Program to improve the collection of forensic evidence. Further assisted in expanding the SAFE exams to children at the Child Advocacy Center (CAC), training law enforcement and prosecutors and working with Saratoga Hospital to provide medical exams at the CAC.
Created a Narcotics and Forfeiture Prosecution Unit and implemented a Drug Enforcement Task Force comprised of local law enforcement agencies, the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department and the New York State Police. This initiative developed into an especially designated Northern Branch of the Drug Enforcement Task Force focusing on the capital district and Saratoga, Washington and Warren counties, supported in large part by the sheriffs of those counties.
Saved the lives of unwanted newborn babies by co-sponsoring the "Safe Haven" program, encouraging mothers to place unharmed infants at medical facilities within a short period after birth, without fear of criminal prosecution.
Led the Saratoga County School Violence Task Force to help ensure the safety of school children.
Promoted gun safety through a Trigger Lock Giveaway, whereby free trigger locks were distributed in Saratoga County along with gun safety literature.
Initiated an anti-gang collaboration among law enforcement, our schools and the community to keep gang violence from spreading to Saratoga County.
Started the Crime Victims Advocacy Unit in the D.A.'s Office. Helping victims understand and participate in their case in order to obtain substantial justice.
Distributed over 8,000 donated cell phones for domestic violence victims and senior citizens to quickly make "911" emergency calls.
Appointed NYS Co-Chairperson of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Inc., investing resources to combat bullying and cyber crime. Promoted the Safe and Stable Families Program and pre-school programs for crime prevention and other educational efforts.
- Assisted in creating standards and protocols for the DNA databank as a member of the NYS Commission on Forensic Science.
- Lead the state's 62 district attorneys as President of the New York State District Attorneys' Association to work on statewide criminal justice initiatives
- Served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the District Attorneys' Association of the State of New York
- Protected children and infants from harm by assisting in the establishment of the Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Saratoga County. As part of the Center for the Family, the CAC provides comprehensive counseling, medical and law enforcement contact at a single location where all agencies convene to deliver services.
- Established Felony and Misdemeanor Drug Treatment Courts, along with the NYS' Road to Recovery Program, for addicts and substance abusers so they can receive the treatment, rehabilitation and education they need to rejoin our communities as active, law abiding participants.
- Brought county law enforcement professionals together routinely for collaboration, sharing of equipment and personnel to more efficiently deliver investigative and prosecutorial resources to the residents of Saratoga County.
- Obtained the single longest sentence in the history of Saratoga County in a double homicide which resulted in back to back life sentences.
- Strengthened the offices relationship with the largest law enforcement agency in the state, the New York State Police, by establishing the unprecedented position of NYSP Senior Investigator assigned to the District Attorney's Office, with the assistance of the Superintendent of the New York State Police.
- Transformed the district attorney's office from one full time assistant and no computer system in 1997 to 16 assistant district attorneys and a state of the art computer network in 2008.
- Partnered with the Saratoga Springs City School District, the South Glens Falls School District, the Ballston Spa School District and other school districts in the county to combat school truancy. Identified parents who need help with parenting skills, utilizing the Strengthening Families Program and working with school truancy officers to increase school attendance and participation in school activities by parents and students.
- Collaborated with the Parents Who Host lose the Most initiative. Parent's who Host Lose The Most is an anti underage drinking initiative with a goal toward educating parents and teens of the danger of underage drinking. In particular, parents who host underage parties need to know that providing alcohol to someone less than 21 is a crime, punishable by up to a year in jail. Further, as well intended as a parent may be regarding underage drinking, parties often get out of hand in today's world of instant messaging, email, and cell phones.
- Developed an excellent working relationship with federal authorities as a graduate of the FBI National Citizens' Academy. The Alumni Association of the FBI Citizens' Academy is a community-based and supported organization, distinct and separate from the FBI, designed to promote a safer community through community service projects and a process of educating business, labor, media, medical, minority, religious, government, senior citizens, and other community leaders about law enforcement, with particular emphasis on the mission, resources, and limitations of the FBI. Each member of the FBI Citizens' Academy Alumni Association is a graduate of an eight-week FBI Citizens' Academy Alumni Association curriculum which focuses on federal law enforcement issues and challenges. Graduates of the curriculum are eligible for participation in the FBI Citizens' Academy Alumni organization. That network of alumni meets periodically to update graduates on federal law enforcement issues and provide education on state and local law enforcement matters.
- Joined the faculty at Albany Law School as an adjunct professor, teaching students trial strategies in criminal trial practice.
- Reached out to area law schools to recruit interns to assist attorneys in the office with special research and writing projects and to allow interns an opportunity to become certified by the appellate division to prosecute criminal cases, as students, while being supervised by the prosecutors.
- Collaborated with Saratoga Springs City School District Superintendent Janice White to co-host a first of its kind, "Educational Summit", together with the Partnership for Prevention, identified risks associated with substance use and underage alcohol use, learned about the developmental reasons for risk-taking behavior by adolescents and engaged community members in a conversation about youth and the challenges they face today.
- Appointed by the Governor to the Task Force for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.
- Established an Integrated Domestic Violence Court (IDV) in the Saratoga County by working with the Office of Court Administration, Supreme, County, Family and City Courts so that victims of domestic violence have one court that handles all cases, rather than separate courts handling only parts of the case. Assigned a full time assistant DA to help victims of domestic violence in IDV court.
- Elected to the Board of Directors of the New York Prosecutor's Training Institute (NYPTI). NYPTI trains prosecutors across the state throughout the year and at Syracuse University Law School during its summer college.
The District Attorney's Office is always open to new ideas or how to improve upon existing initiatives. Please call the office if you have a suggestion or write to DA Murphy using the on- line form by clicking the "Contact the DA" button in the left margin of this page.