Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense

The Intercept: Terrorist Watchlist Errors Spread to Criminal Rap Sheets

Last February, attorney Anisha Gupta represented a Latino man charged with two misdemeanors: trespassing and resisting arrest. At her client’s arraignment, the first appearance before a judge where a bail determination is made, Gupta thought her client would be quickly let out on his own recognizance — meaning a release without posting bail; the prosecution…

VICE: There’s a New Way for People Arrested in NYC to Avoid Jail

A 22-year-old black man stands with his hands clasped behind his back as the prosecution reads charges to the judge. Low-level assault, a class D felony. Recommended bail? $75,000. It’s 6:45 PM on a Saturday evening at Brooklyn Criminal Court, and the audience is comprised mostly of family members—some of whom will wait until one…

Council Presses de Blasio Administration to Reduce Delays in Criminal Court

When Chidinma Ume, an assistant counsel in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, visited Queens recently, district attorney staff showed her around the courthouse, taking care to point out unused areas. “We gave her a tour of the courthouse, and how many locked doors that we have in courtrooms because we have…

New York Law Journal: We Need Speedy Trial Reform in City’s Criminal Courts

Too often in New York City, the maxim “justice delayed is justice denied” is no mere abstraction, but a reality that wears down defendants, dispirits victims and cheats taxpayers. This is particularly true in the city’s criminal court, where lower-level cases—misdemeanors and petty offenses—are adjudicated and where the gaze of policymakers and the press rarely…

Vice: We Know Terrifyingly Little About How Cops in New York Track Cell Phones

For the past several years, police departments across America have been using a nifty new piece of technology to trace the location of suspects. IMSI-catchers—commonly known as “StingRays” after the most popular brand name—are small boxes that gather all cell signals in a given area by mimicking a cell phone tower. And they’ve grown increasingly…

Yes Magazine: When You Can’t Afford the Cost of Clearing Your Record

Adrienne broke the law: Caught speeding on her way home from work in Memphis, Tennessee, she pled guilty to charges of reckless driving and reckless endangerment. Two years later, Adrienne had completed probation and paid her court fees. But the charges still appeared on background checks, so she could find only temporary work. The barrier…

Independent Record: Flathead Reservation program helps former inmates reintegrate

A new program on the Flathead Reservation is helping people who are released from tribal jail or the state prison adjust to life after incarceration. There are many “collateral consequences” people deal with upon their release — inability to find a place to live, struggling to get a job and issues getting drivers licenses reinstated,…

The New Yorker: Sonia from the Bronx

Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, says that she prefers to be called Sonia from the Bronx. Chances are nobody who meets her ever dreams of calling her anything so informal. When she came back to her native borough last week for an Evening of Conversation at the Bronx Defenders, a nonprofit…

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor Speaks at The Bronx Defenders

On Monday, January 25th, The Bronx Defenders hosted U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor for an evening of conversation at its justice campus in the South Bronx. Local community members, staff members and supporters of The Bronx Defenders were present. The conversation between Robin Steinberg, Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders, and Justice Sotomayor…

WNYC: Who Should Have Control of Police Footage?

In the recent police shooting death of teenager in Chicago, a court ordered the public release of the dashboard camera video. But why are police in control of this type of footage? Sarah Lustbader, staff attorney at the Bronx Defenders, a public defender office, discusses the circumstances surrounding a court order for the release of…

New York Times: The Real Problem With Police Video

A Chicago police officer shot and killed a teenager named Laquan McDonald in October of last year, but most of us learned about Mr. McDonald only last week, after a judge ordered the release of police video footage of his death. That is also when prosecutors finally brought first-degree murder charges against the officer. Clearly,…

Delegation of criminal defense attorneys from Japan visit BxD

On Monday and Tuesday, October 26 and 27, we were visited by a delegation of criminal defense attorneys from Japan. The Japanese criminal justice system will soon be instituting a system of plea bargaining for the first time, and the delegation came to learn from The Bronx Defenders – among others – about how our system works. They…

NY1: Weighing Bronx DA Candidate’s Role in Controversial Rikers Case

Thursday night, NY1 reported that Darcel Clark, the leading candidate for Bronx District Attorney, played a previously undisclosed role in the case of Kalief Browder, the young man who committed suicide earlier this year after he was held at Rikers Island for three years without trial. However, as NY1’s Bobby Cuza reported, just how much…

Jodi Morales and Sarah Deri Oshiro Presented Testimony at City Council Oversight Hearing

Criminal Defense Attorney Jodi Morales and Immigration Supervising Attorney Sarah Deri Oshiro presented testimony at City Council Oversight Hearing: Evaluating Attorney Compliance with Padilla V. Kentucky and Court Obstacles for Immigrants in Criminal and Summons Court. Written Comments of The Bronx Defenders New York City Council Committee on Immigration Jointly with the Committee on Courts…

The Atlantic: How Treatment Courts Can Reduce Crime

Court-mandated substance-abuse treatment programs can keep people out of prison and save tax-payer dollars, so why aren’t they being utilized? When I first met my client, he was sitting on the other side of a metal grate (The client’s name has been withheld because of attorney-client confidentiality). We were in the cells behind the arraignment…

Avery McNeil Presented Testimony Before the New York City Council

Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Attorney and Coordinator for the Human Traffic Intervention Court Avery McNeil presented testimony before the New York City Council Joint Hearing of the Committee on Courts and Legal Services and the Committee on Women’s Issues on September 18th, 2015 to discuss the effectiveness of the intervention court in the Bronx and make recommendations for…

Gothamist: How Will De Blasio’s Bail Reform Actually Work?

After news of Kalief Browder’s suicide, many advocates called on Mayor de Blasio to fix New York’s draconian and unfair bail system. On July 8th, Mayor de Blasio responded by announcing a new bail reform for New York City’s court systems. People charged with certain misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies would have the option of supervised…

The Jewish Voice: City Council Holds Hearing to Examine the NY Bail System

The Courts & Legal Services Committee and the Fire & Criminal Justice Services Committee recently held a joint hearing, ‘Examining the New York Bail System and the Need for Reform.’ The hearing, chaired by Council Member Rory Lancman and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, looked at how to reform our dysfunctional bail system. “Our bail system…

The Indian Panorama: City Council Holds Bail Hearing

NEW YORK CITY (TIP): The Courts & Legal Services Committee and the Fire & Criminal Justice Services Committee recently held a joint hearing, ‘Examining the New York Bail System and the Need for Reform.’ The hearing, chaired by Council Member Lancman and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, looked at how to reform our dysfunctional bail system….

BxD’s Elizabeth Keeney presented at NLADA’s Community Oriented Defender Network Annual Conference

BxD’s Managing Director of Social Worker, Elizabeth Keeney, presented at the NLADA’s Community Oriented Defender Network Annual Conference on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015. She participated on the panel “Mandatory Reporting for Social Workers in Defender Offices.” A description of the panel: All 50 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some permutation of mandatory…