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The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense

The Bronx Defenders Oppose ABA Resolution 114

The Bronx Defenders is a public defender nonprofit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the legal system. Every year, we defend thousands of New Yorkers who come into contact with the criminal legal system, and we are committed to ending mass incarceration crisis in our communities and beyond. …

Gay City News: LGBTQ Point Person Named at NYC Corrections

“Deborah Lolai, a criminal defense attorney and LGBTQ crime specialist with the Bronx Defenders, said during a City Council hearing on May 1 that “the majority of trans women who I represent who have been incarcerated have been in a male facility. Contrary to what has been testified to, they are not there by choice.”…

New York Amsterdam News: Inmates Deal with no AC in Bergen County Jail

“The Bronx Defenders, The Legal Aid Society, and Brooklyn Defender Services are also speaking about the conditions at the Bergen County Jail. The organizations provide free legal representation through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project to detained immigrants with pending cases at the Varick Street Immigration Court. In a joint statement the organizations said…

On Juneteenth, NYC Defenders Call for Legislature to Deliver Justice to Communities Impacted By Marijuana Laws, Say Recently Proposed Legislation Falls Short

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** ON JUNETEENTH, NYC DEFENDERS CALL FOR LEGISLATURE TO DELIVER JUSTICE TO COMMUNITIES IMPACTED BY MARIJUANA LAWS, SAY RECENTLY PROPOSED LEGISLATION FALLS SHORT (NEW YORK, NY) –  The Legal Aid Society, New York County Defender Services, Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders, and Neighborhood Defender Service say that recently-introduced legislation would fail to deliver justice to…

New York Times: Final Push to Legalize Pot Fails in New York

“Activists opposed passage of the alternative marijuana bills on Wednesday, calling them half-measures that would not address years of harm to communities of color. A coalition of public defenders including The Legal Aid Society and the Bronx Defenders said in a statement that the decriminalization plan fell “disastrously short.” Read the full article here

NYC Defenders Demand True Marijuana Justice, Call Recently Introduced Bill ‘Too Little Too Late’

June 17, 2019 Contact: Redmond Haskins, The Legal Aid Society (RHaskins@legal-aid.org) Lupe Todd-Medina, New York County Defender Services (Lupe@effectivemediastrategies.com) Jared Chausow, Brooklyn Defender Services (jchausow@bds.org) Ryan Karerat, The Bronx Defenders (rkarerat@bronxdefenders.org) Sam McCann, The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (smccann@ndsny.org) ***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** NYC DEFENDERS DEMAND TRUE MARIJUANA JUSTICE, CALL RECENTLY INTRODUCED BILL ‘TOO LITTLE TOO LATE’ (NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society, New York County Defender…

The New York Times: Repeal the New York Loitering Law

“As lawyers at the Bronx Defenders, we see how the loitering law acts as an invitation to the police to abuse and target our clients for simply “walking while female” in certain neighborhoods. We have represented women who were arrested while walking to meet friends at a bar, waiting outside a store or walking home with diapers…

New York Law Journal: NY Policymakers Don’t Hold the NYPD Accountable

“New York policymakers have failed to hold the NYPD accountable for its numerous transgressions, despite the many horrific instances of police misconduct that have made local and national headlines for years. Even in cases where officers have repeatedly engaged in misconduct, and even while district attorneys keep lists of “bad cops” whose credibility is questionable,…

Filter Magazine: NYC Defenders: District Attorneys Breaking Their Promises to End Marijuana Prosecutions

“On June 11, New York City public defenders released data demonstrating that district attorneys are continuing to prosecute “low-level” marijuana offense cases⁠—even though they have publicly declared that they will discontinue doing so. Nearly 1,200 cases were brought in the first five months of 2019, according to their analysis. A group of collaborating organizations⁠—the Legal…

NYC Defender Caseload Analysis: Hundreds Of New Yorkers Are Still Being Targeted For Marijuana Possession

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** NYC DEFENDER CASELOAD ANALYSIS: HUNDREDS OF NEW YORKERS ARE STILL BEING TARGETED FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION  (NEW YORK, NY) – The Bronx Defenders, The Legal Aid Society, New York County Defender Services, Brooklyn Defender Services, and Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem released caseload data today showing that despite efforts to scale back policing and prosecution of low-level…

Gothamist: How A Sealed Arrest Can Get You Arrested In New York

“’There are a lot of cases where people were arrested or faced prosecution, and they were innocent,’ said Jenn Rolnick Borchetta, from the Bronx Defenders. “We need to protect them, and we need to protect our values that people should be presumed innocent, and they shouldn’t face the consequences [of an allegation], unless it’s been…

Filter Magazine: Denial of Methadone Devastates Incarcerated People: What Hope?

“Rosie Russo, MSW, a social worker with the criminal defense practice of the Bronx Defenders, advocates for clients to receive methadone through the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, which provides healthcare at Rikers. But that doesn’t work for some clients, who get transported upstate where there is no treatment. ‘If we have a client who is…

Manhattan Neighborhood Network: Raising The Bar: Justice Reform Part 2

The Bronx Defenders often see our low-income clients forced to plead guilty when they cannot afford to pay cash bail. Karume James, our Criminal Defense attorney, shares the difficult decisions they need to make when our criminal legal system cares more about profits than lives. Watch the full video here

NYC Defenders Call On Albany To Enact Revised Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act

May 28, 2019   ***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** NYC DEFENDERS CALL ON ALBANY TO ENACT REVISED MARIJUANA REGULATION AND TAXATION ACT (NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society, New York County Defender Services, Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders, and Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem called on New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and Legislature leaders to enact…

The Appeal: What Happens Before Police Press “Record”?

“Even if the police are giving Miranda warnings right after they hit play, it doesn’t mean they haven’t already talked to our clients about the content of the interrogation before that. And that obviously raises questions about whether pre-interrogation conversations with the police undermine the force of the Miranda rights in the first place.” Emily…

New York Daily News: Advocates for criminal justice reform accuse prosecutors, state task force of falling short on bail changes

“The advocates, including The Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, the Legal Aid Society, the New York Civil Liberties Union and Citizen Action of New York, said in a statement on Monday that they are looking for ‘meaningful bail reform that protects the presumption of innocence and maximizes pretrial liberty.” Read more here

Bronx Justice News: District Attorney Darcel Clark On Criminal Justice Reform Legislation: “The Question Is Not If But How We Implement”

“DA Clark has rightly acknowledged the inevitability of discovery, bail, and speedy trial reform in New York. But acknowledgement of inevitability is not enough. The time for delay and foot-dragging is over,” The Bronx Defenders said in a statement. “Bronx-residents–particularly those from communities of color–have waited long enough for a criminal legal system that respects…

Eli Northrup Presented Testimony at City Council on Marijuana Legalization

New York City Council Committee on Public Safety Jointly with the Committee on Justice System, the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing Hearing re: Marijuana Legalization: Equity and Justice for NYC. February 27, 2019 Written Testimony of The Bronx Defenders By Eli Northrup, Associate Special Counsel to the Criminal Defense Practice As a holistic…

Written Testimony to the Committee on Public Safety Jointly with the Committee on Justice System: Family Separation in Criminal Cases

New York City Council Committee on Public Safety Jointly with the Committee on Justice System Hearing re: Family Separation in Criminal Cases February 25, 2019 Written Testimony of The Bronx Defenders By Fallon Speaker, Eli Northrup, and Caitlin Becker As practitioners, we see firsthand the impact an arrest can have on families, especially when a…