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The Bronx Defenders Policy & Community

New York Post: State Democrats rip Nassau officials for ‘blatantly lying’ about MS-13 witness death

A joint statement from Innocence Project, The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, the Bronx Defenders, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Citizen Action of New York called the incident an “extremely disturbing” move to exploit Rodriguez’s murder. “These statements by law enforcement are again another attempt to use lies and…

Politico: Bail reformers face public relations hurdle

“We know that people who have open cases are always hesitant to share stories with the press for fear that notoriety or attention to their case will somehow prejudice them in their case,” said Scott Levy, chief policy counsel at the Bronx Defenders. “And now those fears are heightened because we see that people who…

Politico: Year begins with crime spike in NYC amid statewide bail debate

Eli Northrup of the Bronx Defenders, one of a small group of advocates who held signs supporting bail reform outside the mayor’s press conference, called it “kind of ridiculous” to argue “that a month of cherry-picked [stats] justifies a rollback of this needed reform.” “The mayor for some reason and the police commissioner seem hell-bent…

NYU News: Arguments Against New York’s Cash Bail Reforms Are Dated

“But bail has little effect on the likelihood of defendants returning to court. After the Bronx Defenders bailed out 150 people, 95% of their clients attended every court appearance, and almost 50% of the cases were dismissed entirely. The high return rate fundamentally undermines the supposed purpose of bail — incentivizing defendants to show up to their…

City and State: Advocates: Don’t make changes to the state’s new bail law

“A coalition of 60 criminal justice reform groups are sending an open letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders demanding that they don’t change the state’s newly enacted law limiting the use of cash bail. “Make no mistake,” the letter reads, in part, “retreating from bail reform less than a week after it goes…

Human Rights Watch: Groups Urge NY Lawmakers to Stand Firm on Bail Reform

January 1st was a historic day that ushered in pretrial reforms that will make New York fairer and more just. These reforms are a huge step forward towards eliminating the race- and wealth-based detention that has plagued New York for decades. The new laws will dramatically expand pretrial liberty and reduce jail populations and taxpayer…

Gotham Gazette: Real Criminal Justice Reform Requires Standing Up to Fear-Mongering

“Nearly five years ago, Jerome Murdough, an African-American Marine Corps veteran, died on Rikers Island due to a combination of injustice, inhumanity, and medical neglect. Afflicted by homelessness and mental illness, Murdough tragically passed away when temperatures in his cell reached 100 degrees – heat that was contraindicated with his medicine – and he baked…

Alice Fontier Presented Testimony at City Council Re: Int 0487-2018: Creating Comprehensive Reporting and Oversight of NYPD Surveillance Technologies

New York City Council Committee on Public Safety  Re: Int 0487-2018: Creating Comprehensive Reporting and Oversight of NYPD Surveillance Technologies. December 18, 2019 Written Testimony of The Bronx Defenders By Alice Fontier, Managing Director, Criminal Defense Practice Over the course of a decade, the New York Police Department has adopted surveillance technologies as a central…

The City: Report Calls On New NYPD Top Cop Dermot Shea To Abolish Gang Database

“Public defenders and justice advocates are calling on new NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to abolish a policing tool he’s strongly defended: the department’s gang database. The “Erase the Database” campaign, to be launched Thursday, marks the latest in a yearslong effort to end collection of names and monitoring of the estimated 17,500 to 42,000 New Yorkers believed to be in…

Ivan Bohorquez Presented Testimony at Hearing re: Local Law to amend NYC charter, in relation to mandating a citywide audit of collateral consequences for drug arrests and conviction

Written Testimony of The Bronx Defenders By Ivan Bohorquez, Civil Legal Advocate, Civil Action Practice New York City Council Committee on Justice System Hearing Regarding T2019-5492, A Local Law to amend the NYC Charter, in relation to mandating a citywide audit of collateral consequences for drug arrests and convictions December 11, 2019 The Civil Action…

Eli Northrup Presented Testimony at City Council Hearing re: Sealing of criminal records and expansion of youthful offender status

New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Codes and Standing Committee on Correction Hearing re: Sealing of criminal records and expansion of youthful offender status December 10, 2019 Written Testimony of The Bronx Defenders By Eli Northrup, Policy Counsel to the Criminal Defense Practice The sealing of criminal convictions is critical if New York wants…

Stacey Kennard Presented Testimony at Oversight Hearing on Implementation and Expansion of RTA

New York City Council Committee on Justice System and Committee on Criminal Justice Oversight Hearing on Implementation and Expansion of RTA  December 3, 2019 Testimony of The Bronx Defenders By Stacey Kennard, Team Leader and Adolescent Defense Project Attorney, Criminal Defense Practice The Bronx Defenders forms relationships with hundreds of young clients every year. The…