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Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense

Gothamist: Analyzing 323,911 Newly-Released Records Of NYPD Misconduct

“Michael Thomas, a staff attorney in the criminal defense practice for The Bronx Defenders, called the release “huge,” and predicted it would lead to major changes in how his cases will be tried, compared to the era in which 50-A shielded many records from discovery. “A lot of our cases that end up going to…

NBC News: Video of police abuses and the NYPD trampling the Constitution reveal inefficacy of ‘reform’

“Amid a summer of protest sparked by the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, much has been said about the importance of “reforming” police departments. But what if those departments cannot be reformed? This week, a video went viral showing the arrest of a young trans woman during a protest. The 18-year-old woman was tackled in broad daylight…

Lexology: Public Defenders Sue to Stop In-Court Appearances During COVID

“It is no secret that the COVID crisis poses a risk to criminal defendants, particularly those who are incarcerated or come from at-risk groups.  It is also no secret that the New York’s Office of Court Administration (the “OCA”) has been pushing hard to “return to normalcy,” in part to make sure that cases of…

Law360: Federal Judge Axes Suit Over NY Courts Reopening Plan

“The Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, Legal Aid Society, New York County Defender Services, Neighborhood Service of Harlem and Queens Defenders had argued the courts’ decision was “rushed” and has led to “chaotic” implementation of policies that violate federal civil rights protections including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. While Judge Carter denied…

The Appeal: New York City Public Defenders Oppose Resuming In-Person Court Appearances

“Resuming in-person court appearances won’t accomplish much, New York City public defenders argue. Critical deadlines for criminal cases remain suspended. And while the logistics around virtual court at times can be frustrating, the resumption of non-essential, in-person appearances at this stage does little more than endanger communities, said Ann Mathews, managing director of the criminal…

Urban CNY: Assemblymember Hunter’s bill to end driver’s license suspensions due to traffic debt passes Assembly

“We applaud Assembly Member Hunter for her leadership and the Assembly for passing the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act and taking a major step forward to end the cruel and counterproductive criminalization of poverty,” said Ranit Patel, Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by the Venture Justice Fund at The Bronx Defenders. “Suspending driver’s licenses due…

Law360: NY Courts Urge Federal Judge To Stay Out Of Reopening Plan

“The Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, Legal Aid Society, New York County Defender Services, Neighborhood Service of Harlem, and Queens Defenders say the state courts’ decision was “rushed” and has led to “chaotic” implementation of policies that violate federal civil rights protections including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. While Judge Carter denied…

New York Law Journal: Federal Judge Denies Defenders’ Bid for Temporary Order to Pause New York City’s In-Person Court Proceedings

“U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter Jr. of the Southern District of New York on Friday denied the temporary restraining order requested by a group of New York City public defender organizations who say the planned expansion of in-person state court proceedings discriminates against persons with disabilities.” Read the full article here

ABA Journal: New York City public defenders file suit to halt in-person court appearances

“The suit was filed by the Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, the Bronx Defenders, New York County Defender Services, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and Queens Defenders. The defendant is the New York State Office of Court Administration. Office of Court Administration spokesperson Lucian Chalfen told the Queens Daily Eagle that public defender groups…

Queens Daily Eagle: Public defenders sue state to stop in-person criminal proceedings during COVID crisis

“Until Monday, arraignments, case conferences and other criminal court proceedings were handled remotely, with defendants appearing by video conference since March. The plaintiffs include The Legal Aid Society, Queens Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and New York county Defender Service. The organizations, which represent low-income defendants in criminal…

The Riverdale Press: Amid protests, budget cuts, crime rises in 5-0

“But that’s an unfair claim, said Eli Northrup, criminal defense policy counsel at the Bronx Defenders, a public defender nonprofit. “If anything, bail reform in the last month has been rolled back,” Northrup said. “I don’t think there’s any evidence that bail reform has anything to do with this. If you look, crime is actually…

Gothamist: Man Who Tried To Escape Rikers Twice In Four Days ‘Has No Other Choice,’ Fellow Inmate Says

“Rikers Island inmates have also not been allowed in-person visits with their lawyers since late March because of the pandemic, Ann H. Mathews, the Bronx Defenders’ Managing Director of Criminal Defense Practice, told Gothamist. While they have been allowed video conferences via a digital Skype-like interface, those sometimes take weeks to schedule. Besides, she emphasized,…

Warwick Valley Dispatch: Comm. Members Discuss Anti-Racism Focus In Warwick Schools

“A virtual “town hall” meeting for Warwick parents and educators took place on Sun., June 7, via zoom conference, with over 30 attendees. Its purpose was to come together as an educational community to discuss implementing a culturally responsible and actively anti-racist culture in Warwick schools. Meant as a gateway to greater community engagement, the…

Law360: Virus Concerns Loom Over Handling Of Mass Arrests

“Police should not be arresting individuals who are peacefully exercising their First Amendment right to protest, said Ann Mathews, managing director of the criminal defense practice at Bronx Defenders. And if cops do cuff peaceful protesters, district attorneys should decline to prosecute them, Mathews said.” Read the full article here