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The Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense

The Takeaway: Happy Thanksgiving From The Takeaway!

This Thanksgiving The Takeaway brings you some great conversations from the last year and an hour of pioneering female voices. First, a conversation between Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and our host John Hockenberry offers an insight into the incredible career of Justice Ginsburg. Next you will hear from Robin Steinberg, founder and director…

Screening: “The House I Live In”

Join us for a FREE screening of the award winning documentary, The House I Live In. Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 6 PM Abundant Life Church 650 Washington Avenue Brooklyn, NY  11238 View the event flyer. Following the screening will be a panel discussion with: Assemblyman Karim Camera, District 43 Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director, Correctional Association…

The Bronx Defenders now provides services to over 35,000 clients each year

Our contract with New York City’s Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator was recently amended to include representation in ‘conflicts’ cases. These are criminal cases with more than one suspect or defendant involved in related criminal proceedings.  The interests of one may ‘conflict’ with another and so separate counsel is assigned. We will eventually handle…

Emma Ketteringham spoke at the 2013 International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Denver, CO on October 26th, 2013

On Saturday, October 26th, Emma Ketteringham, Managing Attorney of the Bronx Defenders’ Family Defense Practice, was a panelist for a roundtable discussion on the drug war’s impact on the criminal justice system during the 2013 International Drug Policy Reform Conference. The International Drug Policy Reform Conference is an event that happens every two years with…

MintPress News: Does Bail Really Work To Promote Justice?

Former U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy once said: “What has been demonstrated here is that usually only one factor determines whether a defendant stays in jail before he comes to trial. That factor is not guilt or innocence. It is not the nature of the crime. It is not the character of the defendant. That…

New York Times: New, Young Help for Poor in Infamous Bronx Courts

On a recent afternoon in the South Bronx, Cordice Smith, a 79-year-old Korean War veteran wearing a Yankees hat, was standing in the tiled lobby of his apartment building — something he no longer takes for granted. Earlier this year, he almost lost his home after receiving a letter from his landlord’s lawyer: an eviction…

Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

Robin Steinberg, Executive Director, and Marika Meis, Legal Director, attended a conference and contributed to a sweeping report coordinated by the Brennan Center and NACDL regarding racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system. According to NACDL, the report summarizes the “candid, sometimes painful panel discussions, and identifies a panoply of remedies that may advance…

The Bronx Defenders welcomes our 2013 training team!

The Bronx Defenders is proud to announce the start of our 2013 training team. During the first year, our new attorneys will receive intensive training in Holistic Defense, working alongside our experienced Criminal, Family, and Civil Attorneys, as well as our Social Workers, Policy and Community Organizers and Community Intake team. Welcome to our new…

Bail or Jail: Watch Justine Olderman discuss the need for bail reform

Richard French speaks with the Chief Judge of New York State, Jonathan Lippman and with Justine Olderman of The Bronx Defenders about the current state of the jail and bail system in New York State. Justine Olderman: “We can say, ideally, it is about the presumption of innocence; it’s about the right to trial; it’s…

Board Member Abbe Smith’s new book “How Can You Represent Those People?”

How Can You Represent Those People? is the first-ever collection of essays offering a response to the “Cocktail Party Question” asked of every criminal lawyer: how do you represent the accused? The contributors are a diverse group of prominent lawyers and rising stars, each offering a different—and often very personal— perspective on “the Question.” Many…

Justine Olderman responds to NY Post article on Bronx bail data

In an August 9, 2013 New York Post article headlined “Easiest Walk for Bx ‘High Risk’ Defendants,” the Mayor’s office takes a position that is in contravention of state law, ignores the facts about rates of return, and turns a blind eye to the growing movement for bail reform. After analyzing data showing that judges…

Karen Smolar taught at the July session of the NDCC’s Trial Practice Institute

Karen Smolar, Trial Chief of The Bronx Defenders, taught as a faculty member at the National Criminal Defense College, Trial Practice Institute, in the July 2013 session. This session, which took place in Macon, Georgia, was limited to just 96 participants. Topics covered in the institute included client interviews, jury selection, direct and cross examination,…

Board Member Abbe Smith On What Motivates Public Defenders

Abbe Smith, a member of our Board of Directors, the director of the Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic at Georgetown University and co-editor of the forthcoming “How Can You Represent Those People?” recently published an opinion piece for The Washington Post. Click here for Abbe’s thoughts on what motives public defenders to represent “those…

The Champion: Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

Our Executive Director Robin Steinberg wrote an article on racial disparities in the criminal justice system that was featured in The Champion. The article draws from discussions at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ conference report, Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. An excerpt…

The Bronx Defenders Denounced Proposed Bail Bill in New York State

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 11, 2013 Contact: Justine Olderman, The Bronx Defenders, (917) 836-4366 The Bronx Defenders Denounced Proposed Bail Bill in New York State The Bronx Defenders called for the New York Legislature to abandon Proposed Bill S. 4483 (Nozzolio) / A. 6799 (Lentol), which does not contain constitutional safeguards or provide adequate guidance in setting…

The New Yorker: Annals of Law: Rights and Wrongs

A Judge Takes on Stop & Frisk.  Article by Jeffrey Toobin. Excerpt: “…Bradley took the ticket to the offices of the Bronx Defenders, who have pioneered what they call “holistic defense,” a method based on recognizing that, for criminal defendants like Bradley, deportation, eviction, or the loss of parental rights may be more ruinous than conviction…

The Take Away: Searching for Justice in the South Bronx

As the executive director of the Bronx Defenders, a public defense and legal services organization, Robin Steinberg has spent her career demanding justice for the residents of the poorest Congressional district in the nation. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, the landmark Supreme Court case that requires states to provide attorneys…

New York Times: In Misdemeanor Cases, Long Waits for Elusive Trials

Francisco Zapata keeps a copy of the Constitution on his cellphone. So when the police stopped, frisked and charged him with misdemeanor marijuana possession, he wanted what that cellphone document promised. “I was under the assumption,” he said, “that if I kept going back to court, eventually I would get my day in court.” But…

Criminal Justice Matters on CUNY TV: Equal Justice for All? Life After Gideon

The right to a lawyer, regardless of whether you can afford it, has been a cornerstone of American justice for 50 years, ever since a landmark US Supreme Court ruling in 1963. But thousands of Americans–and New Yorkers—still can’t exercise that right. New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman discusses what our courts and politicians…

HuffPost Live: Alejandro Fernandez talks Stop-And-Frisk

Gbenga Akinnagbe from ‘The Wire’ joins HuffPost Live to talk about his recent court victory, challenging stop & frisk policies and intolerance for free speech. Hosted by: Alicia Menendez Guests: Gbenga Akinnagbe @GbengaAkinnagbe (New York, NY) Actor Matt Sledge @MGSledge (New York , NY) HuffPost National Reporter Alejandro Fernandez @BronxDefenders (New York, NY) Staff Attorney…

New York Times: In South Bronx, Legal Aid and Shoulders to Lean On

A sprawling, sunny room beckons invitingly with black couches and bright accent pillows for relaxing, bookshelves with novels to borrow for an hour or a week, a pair of children’s tables, outlets for recharging cellphones and free coffee. This is the newest hub for justice in the South Bronx: a public defenders’ office that looks…