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Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders Policy & Community

City & State: Can legalizing pot help communities heal?

“Despite roughly equal usage of marijuana among racial groups, data has shown that Black and Latino men get arrested and ticketed for marijuana offenses at eight times the rate of white men in New York City, even as enforcement has declined under Mayor Bill de Blasio. This policing disparity exists in communities throughout the state. And the existing data likely…

Gothamist: Cuomo And State Democrats Still At Odds Over How To Legalize Marijuana

“Eli Northrup, an attorney with the Bronx Defenders, said the governor’s proposal also doesn’t go far enough to remove criminal penalties for marijuana-related offenses and in some cases criminalizes them further. “Right now, it’s a misdemeanor to sell a small amount of marijuana to someone under the age of 21, but the governor’s proposal would…

Bronx Justice News: Lawyers File Bronx Petition Demanding NYC Prisoners Be Offered Vaccine

“Justine Olderman, Executive Director of the Bronx Defenders, said the state has routinely disregarded the health and safety of incarcerated people during the pandemic. “Withholding the vaccine from people being detained in congregate settings goes against CDC guidelines. It also goes against the moral responsibility the state has towards the people it incarcerates,” Olderman said….

Manhattan Times: New town halls focus on police reform

“The planned town halls will culminate in a report that will be submitted to the New York City Council in March to inform the Council’s consideration of the reform proposal. Co-sponsors involved in the series of forums include the Anti-Violence Project, The Audre Lorde Project, The Bronx Defenders, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York Civil…

MarketWatch: How soon will New York vaccinate its prisoners?

“On Thursday, Fischer’s organization, joined by the Legal Aid Society, the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Bronx Defenders and Brooklyn Defender Services, filed a lawsuit at the state Supreme Court in the Bronx, demanding that vaccines be provided immediately to everyone behind bars. “Beyond politics and an animus toward incarcerated people,” Fischer said, “there’s…

MarketWatch: How soon will New York vaccinate its prisoners?

“On Thursday, Fischer’s organization, joined by the Legal Aid Society, the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Bronx Defenders and Brooklyn Defender Services, filed a lawsuit at the state Supreme Court in the Bronx, demanding that vaccines be provided immediately to everyone behind bars. “Beyond politics and an animus toward incarcerated people,” Fischer said, “there’s…

Democrat & Chronicle: Advocates call for the Raise the Lower Age Act

“The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, Bronx Defenders, Queens Defenders and Neighborhood Defenders of Harlem sent a letter to Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, calling for legislation to raise the minimum age of delinquency jurisdiction from 7 to 12, thus ending the arrest and subsequent prosecution of children…

City & State: Why Cuomo’s pandemic policies keep getting challenged in court

“This is just the latest lawsuit against Cuomo that has prompted an abrupt shift in his administration’s pandemic policies. While the lawsuit – which was filed on behalf of inmates by groups including the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, Bronx Defenders and the Legal Aid Society – is the first class action over vaccinations in…

COVID-19 Vaccine Lawsuit

Verified Petition OSC Attorney Affirmation Alberto Frias Affidavit Affirmation of Drs. Adewunmi and Fenig Affirmation of Dr Gonsalves Randy Johns Affidavit Charles Holden Affidavit  

New York Daily News: N.Y. deprives city and state inmates of Covid-19 vaccine: suit

“Despite the fact that [the] petitioners face a heightened risk of contracting Covid-19 due to their congregate conditions of confinement, [state officials] have excluded them from access in their current vaccine distribution plan,” says the suit, which was brought by Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, The Bronx Defenders, The Legal Aid Society, the New York…

The City: After ‘Horrifying’ Rochester Arrest, City Advocates Call on Cuomo to Keep Kids Out of Cop Hands

“Following the release of body-camera footage that showed Rochester police pepper-spraying a handcuffed 9-year-old girl, New York City advocates are renewing a push to raise the minimum age of criminal prosecution statewide. In a letter sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Albany leaders on Wednesday, public defender groups from all five boroughs pushed for passage of legislation that would hike the…

The New York State Senate: Senate To Repeal ‘Walking While Trans’ Law

Deb Lolai, Supervising Attorney in the LGBTQ Defense Project at The Bronx Defenders, said, “We applaud the Senate’s passage of S1351, which will repeal New York’s ‘Walking While Trans’ law. This bill is a critical step toward eliminating enmeshed penalties — such as reduced access to employment, fewer housing options, and punitive immigration consequences —…

Demand Letter Re: Vaccination of People Held in Prisons and Jails

  Via e-mail  January 27, 2021  The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of the State of New York New York State Capitol Building Albany, New York 12224   Re: Vaccination of People Held in Prisons and Jails  Dear Governor Cuomo:  As science and experience have both made clear, jails and prisons perpetuate the COVID-19 pandemic,  both…

Defenders to Gov. Cuomo: Stop Blocking COVID-19 Vaccinations for Our Incarcerated Clients

January 29, 2021 Contact: Redmond Haskins The Legal Aid Society (929) 441-2384 rhaskins@legal-aid.org  ***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***  Defenders to Gov. Cuomo: Stop Blocking COVID-19 Vaccinations for Our Incarcerated Clients  (NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, New York County Defender Services, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, The Bronx Defenders, Legal Aid Society…

Human Rights Watch: An Innovative Approach to Justice for New York Police Violence

“The Bronx Defenders, a public legal defense organization representing 24 people alleging the New York Police Department (NYPD) committed abuses against them during protests last summer, are taking a different approach to achieving justice. Instead of suing the NYPD, as many other organizations and the New York State Attorney General have done, the Bronx Defenders asked the New York City Comptroller on Tuesday…

The Appeal: New Jersey Could Force Cuomo’s Hand On Pot Legalization

“Under Cuomo’s plan, while people 21 or older would be able to purchase marijuana, sales to people under the age of 21 would be classified as a felony. It is currently a misdemeanor to sell a small amount of marijuana to a person between 18 and 21 years old. Eli Northrup, a public defender and policy…

Law360: Could 2021 Be The Year Of Civil Justice Reform?

“The pandemic has also revealed problems in the family law system, especially child protective services, said Erin Miles Cloud, a former family defense attorney with the Bronx Defenders who is now co-president of Movement for Family Power, an activist group seeking to shrink the child welfare system.” Read the full article here