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Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

Oneida Daily Dispatch: Capitol Watch: Fate of pot sales in New York is unclear

Eli Northrup, policy counsel to the criminal defense practice at Bronx Defenders, said marijuana convictions are keeping people from getting jobs, putting immigrants at risk of deportation and complicating child custody matters. “What people don’t feel is the urgency with this,” Northrup said. “White people, people in power, they don’t feel the effects of the…

The Austin Chronicle: County Names Its First Chief Public Defender

Last week, in a culminating vote that took roughly one minute, Travis County Commissioners Court took the next major step toward establishing a public defender office: appointing University of Virginia Law School lecturer Adeola Ogunkeyede as the county’s first chief public defender. According to the official announcement, Ogunkeyede will provide “robust and client-centered representation to adults accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses ……

BRIC TV: The New Jane Crow

For wealthier white parents, the practice of smoking cannabis is becoming widely more accepted. But for poor families of color, a positive marijuana toxicology report can have life altering consequences. The New Jane Crow tells the story of two mothers who had neglect cases opened by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) after their newborns…

The Post-Journal: Bail Reform Debate Deepens Among State Democrats

A group of New York criminal defense organizations, including The Bronx Defenders, criticized the proposal and said it assumes that judges and prosecutors can predict a person’s behavior. “This will result in injustice for everyone in New York and will certainly end up exacerbating racially disparate outcomes,” they said in a statement. State Assembly Speaker Carl…

New York Post: State Democrats rip Nassau officials for ‘blatantly lying’ about MS-13 witness death

A joint statement from Innocence Project, The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, the Bronx Defenders, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Citizen Action of New York called the incident an “extremely disturbing” move to exploit Rodriguez’s murder. “These statements by law enforcement are again another attempt to use lies and…

Politico: Bail reformers face public relations hurdle

“We know that people who have open cases are always hesitant to share stories with the press for fear that notoriety or attention to their case will somehow prejudice them in their case,” said Scott Levy, chief policy counsel at the Bronx Defenders. “And now those fears are heightened because we see that people who…

Politico: Year begins with crime spike in NYC amid statewide bail debate

Eli Northrup of the Bronx Defenders, one of a small group of advocates who held signs supporting bail reform outside the mayor’s press conference, called it “kind of ridiculous” to argue “that a month of cherry-picked [stats] justifies a rollback of this needed reform.” “The mayor for some reason and the police commissioner seem hell-bent…

NYU News: Arguments Against New York’s Cash Bail Reforms Are Dated

“But bail has little effect on the likelihood of defendants returning to court. After the Bronx Defenders bailed out 150 people, 95% of their clients attended every court appearance, and almost 50% of the cases were dismissed entirely. The high return rate fundamentally undermines the supposed purpose of bail — incentivizing defendants to show up to their…

City and State: Advocates: Don’t make changes to the state’s new bail law

“A coalition of 60 criminal justice reform groups are sending an open letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders demanding that they don’t change the state’s newly enacted law limiting the use of cash bail. “Make no mistake,” the letter reads, in part, “retreating from bail reform less than a week after it goes…

Human Rights Watch: Groups Urge NY Lawmakers to Stand Firm on Bail Reform

January 1st was a historic day that ushered in pretrial reforms that will make New York fairer and more just. These reforms are a huge step forward towards eliminating the race- and wealth-based detention that has plagued New York for decades. The new laws will dramatically expand pretrial liberty and reduce jail populations and taxpayer…

Gotham Gazette: Real Criminal Justice Reform Requires Standing Up to Fear-Mongering

“Nearly five years ago, Jerome Murdough, an African-American Marine Corps veteran, died on Rikers Island due to a combination of injustice, inhumanity, and medical neglect. Afflicted by homelessness and mental illness, Murdough tragically passed away when temperatures in his cell reached 100 degrees – heat that was contraindicated with his medicine – and he baked…

New York Daily News: Poor and at risk of losing their kids: Moms and dads under ACS investigation deserve more legal help

“The City Council has proposed giving parents meaningful access to legal representation during an ACS investigation; like a suspect facing arrest, parents being investigated would have the chance to access legal help. Opponents of the bills claim access will make investigations more “adversarial,” even implying that children will be endangered. The first problem with this narrative is…

The City: Report Calls On New NYPD Top Cop Dermot Shea To Abolish Gang Database

“Public defenders and justice advocates are calling on new NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to abolish a policing tool he’s strongly defended: the department’s gang database. The “Erase the Database” campaign, to be launched Thursday, marks the latest in a yearslong effort to end collection of names and monitoring of the estimated 17,500 to 42,000 New Yorkers believed to be in…