Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

Criminal Justice Matters on CUNY TV: Equal Justice for All? Life After Gideon

The right to a lawyer, regardless of whether you can afford it, has been a cornerstone of American justice for 50 years, ever since a landmark US Supreme Court ruling in 1963. But thousands of Americans–and New Yorkers—still can’t exercise that right. New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman discusses what our courts and politicians…

Huffington Post’s The Blog: Exonerated, but Not Yet Free

Eighteen years ago, Carlos Perez was playing with his two-year-old son on a South Bronx stoop when a group of police officers drove up and shouted, “Freeze!” Carlos was handcuffed, arrested, and charged with murdering a cab driver and a Fed-Ex worker in the Bronx. He was eventually convicted and sentenced to 50 years to…

Bill Moyers: Redefining Public Defense

Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Gideon vs. Wainwright that criminal defendants have the constitutional right to legal representation, whether they can afford it or not. But today’s public defenders are overworked and underpaid, and the scales of justice still tilt heavily in favor of the wealthy. An organization in…

HuffPost Live: Christian Lassiter talking about the shooting of Kimani Gray

This morning, our very own Christian Lassiter appeared live on HuffPost Live to talk about the Kimani Gray killing by the NYPD in Brooklyn last weekend.  As you can see, Christian did a fabulous job in this very important and critical conversation about the NYPD’s campaign to target young Black and Latino men in low…

HuffPost Live: Alejandro Fernandez talks Stop-And-Frisk

Gbenga Akinnagbe from ‘The Wire’ joins HuffPost Live to talk about his recent court victory, challenging stop & frisk policies and intolerance for free speech. Hosted by: Alicia Menendez Guests: Gbenga Akinnagbe @GbengaAkinnagbe (New York, NY) Actor Matt Sledge @MGSledge (New York , NY) HuffPost National Reporter Alejandro Fernandez @BronxDefenders (New York, NY) Staff Attorney…

New York Times: In South Bronx, Legal Aid and Shoulders to Lean On

A sprawling, sunny room beckons invitingly with black couches and bright accent pillows for relaxing, bookshelves with novels to borrow for an hour or a week, a pair of children’s tables, outlets for recharging cellphones and free coffee. This is the newest hub for justice in the South Bronx: a public defenders’ office that looks…

News 12 Bronx: The Bronx Defenders opens a new location in Melrose

THE BRONX – A non-profit organization in The Bronx that has been helping the community for 15 years opened a new location today. The Bronx Defenders helps more than 30,000 residents with legal cases and social work per year. In order to keep up with their clientele, the organization opened the new space on the…

New York Law Journal: ‘Justice Campus’ Opens in the Bronx

The Bronx Defenders yesterday opened its new ‘Justice Campus’ at 360 E. 161st St., with Executive Director Robin Steinberg and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. cutting the ribbon. The new offices, which were made from the renovation of two empty storefronts near the Hall of Justice, will allow the Bronx Defenders to better serve its…

Reuters: Bronx man cannot be retried after mistrial

A Bronx man cannot be retried for selling drugs after his first case ended in a mistrial because the judge failed to consider less severe alternatives, a state appeals court ruled Thursday. The Appellate Division, First Department, found that double jeopardy precluded a second prosecution against Jamal Morris, who sought a writ prohibiting the Bronx…

DNAinfo: 10 Judges Will Head to Bronx to Target Criminal Case Backlog

BRONX SUPREME COURT — Ten judges from outside the city will be temporarily assigned to The Bronx as part of an unprecedented plan to shrink an “intolerable” backlog of felony cases, the state’s top judge said Tuesday. The move came as the borough’s top criminal judge, Efrain Alvarado, will be replaced by Justice Douglas McKeon,…

News 12 Bronx: Argument against stop-and-frisk picking up steam

Watch Bronx Defenders Staff Attorney Molly Kovel discuss the recent court ruling. MELROSE – The attorneys who sponsored a lawsuit against the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy are supporting their claims today after a federal judge ruled the program must come to an end in certain buildings. The attorneys are representing 13 Bronx residents involved in the…

The Guardian: Federal judge orders NYPD to stop using stop-and-frisk tactic in the Bronx

A federal judge has dealt a significant blow to the New York police department’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, declaring that officers had “systematically” engaged in unconstitutional activity by searching residents outside thousands of private apartments in the city. Manhattan federal court judge Shira Scheindlin said the NYPD must immediately halt the practice of conducting trespass stops…

The Village Voice: Making Bail Better

When Judge Ralph Fabrizio saw William Miranda, free of handcuffs and dressed in street clothes, sitting in his Bronx courtroom, he was surprised. Three days earlier, on February 24, 2009, Miranda had been up before Fabrizio for arraignment on two misdemeanor assault charges. Fabrizio had set a substantial bail, $1,500 for each charge, certainly more…

The Bronx Ink – Bronx District Attorney Curbs Stop-and-Frisk Abuses

The Bronx District Attorney’s office became the first in the city to openly question the validity of some stop-and-frisk arrests, by requiring police officers to verify each one in person before charges are rendered. In the past, arresting police officers had to fill out a sworn statement and routine paperwork. Now, officers will now also…

New York Times: Video of Police Encounter May Play Lead Role in Lawsuit

The man, Luis Solivan, 19, was later charged with assaulting an officer, but his case was dismissed after a grand jury watched the video, which an acquaintance shot through an apartment window in the Bronx, his lawyers say. Now, that same footage may emerge as crucial evidence in a civil rights lawsuit that Mr. Solivan’s…

City Limits: Bail Fund Aims to Free Poor Defendants

The Bronx Defenders, through its affiliate the Bronx Freedom Fund, bailed hundreds of people between 2007 and 2009. According to Robin Steinberg, executive director of The Bronx Defenders, “During the 18 months that the Bronx Freedom Fund operated, 150 clients were bailed out and the return rate of our clients was an impressive 95 percent….

News 12 Bronx: Criminal justice groups hold first BX town hall

THE BRONX – Several criminal justice groups came together Monday night for their first Bronx town hall meeting at Hostos Community College. Organizers, including the Bronx Defenders and the Justice Committee, claim that police have taken advantage of many people during practices such as stop-and-frisk. They say the meeting aimed to teach local residents about…

Reuters Legal: ABA urges criminal defense lawyers to embrace holistic approach

ALBANY, N.Y., Aug 7 (Reuters) – The American Bar Association is calling on criminal defense attorneys to take a holistic approach to representing clients in order to reduce recidivism. The group’s House of Delegates on Monday approved a resolution that “urges” defense lawyers and defender groups to address clients’ “inter-related” criminal, civil and non-legal problems….

WNYC News: Charities to Play Bail Bondsman Role

Charities will soon be allowed to post bail for the poor and indigent. A new law recently signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo allows charities to be authorized and regulated by the Department of Financial Services, the same state agency that oversees bail bondsman. Only those charged with non-violent misdemeanors with bails set at $2,000 or…

New York Law Journal: Guardian Ordered to Assist Tenant in Termination Hearing

The decision annuls a New York City Housing Authority hearing officer’s refusal to set aside a determination terminating the tenancy of a woman with mental problems, and remands the case for a new hearing. – The tenant was represented by Anna Arkin-Gallagher of the Bronx Defenders. “We are happy the court agreed that NYCHA has…