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The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense

Syracuse.com: NY’s hard-core traffic fines hit the poor hardest, Syracuse lawmaker says

“The problem is particularly troubling in Syracuse, a city with the nation’s highest rate of concentrated poverty among blacks and Hispanics, Hunter said. The rate of driver’s with suspended licenses for unpaid traffic tickets in one poor neighborhood in Syracuse is more than twice the statewide average, according to the Driven by Justice Coalition, a coalition of criminal…

WBFO: State effort to eliminate driver’s license suspensions gets local support

“According to the Driven by Justice Coalition, over 1.6 million suspensions due to traffic debt were issued to New Yorker’s over a 28-month span. Kennedy said the suspensions are not equitable and poor people are punished for being poor. “Driver’s license suspension rates are nearly nine times higher in the ten poorest communities across New…

The Appeal: Parents Threatened With Losing Children Over Cannabis Use

“Ms. D, a mother of two living in the Bronx, smoked cannabis occasionally. She never smoked in front of her children, and her casual use never affected her ability to parent. So when a child protective investigator asked her if she smoked, Ms. D was forthcoming. After all, her children were healthy, happy, and well…

The Appeal: What’s Not To Love About The NYPD Slowdown?

“The Daily Appeal spoke to Alice Fontier, the managing director of the criminal defense practice at The Bronx Defenders. I asked Fontier about how the slowdown has played out in criminal court in the Bronx, one of the most heavily policed counties in the country. Over the last few months, Fontier said, there had been at…

The Champion: Challenging Facial Recognition Software in Criminal Court

Federal agencies and high profile investigations are not the only places where facial recognition software (“FRS”) is being used. State and local law enforcement agencies employ FRS in investigations that range from serious to relatively mundane. FRS has been used to pinpoint suspects in cases as routine as drug sales, petty theft, robbery, and identity theft….

The Appeal: ‘Is This The Guy?’

“The NYPD also claimed that it was exempt from disclosing information about its facial recognition technology because doing so could imperil future investigations. It argued that because the department is only a user—not the creator—of the software, any disclosure would violate state protections of its partner’s trade secrets. Alice Fontier, The Bronx Defenders’s 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. …

BronxNet News: Today’s Verdict – ADP

Our Elizabeth Williams and Robyn Goldberg are interviewed about our Adolescent Defense Project and their work in it defending minors. Watch the full interview starting at 11:45 here

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…