“The Process is the Punishment”

Novo Justice Blog by Colin Rule, article by William Glaberson, NYT

William Glaberson, NYT:

“Court delays of as long as five years in felony cases have pushed the Bronx criminal courts into the bottom ranks of courts nationally, reaching what even the judges call crisis levels.

But that backlog has a less-noted companion. The courts are so dysfunctional that those accused of minor offenses — misdemeanors like trespassing or driving with a suspended license — have all but lost the fundamental guarantee of the American legal system: the right to a trial.

The case of Mr. Zapata would usually be overlooked in the flood of 50,000 Bronx misdemeanor filings a year. But he was part of a special legal-defense effort led by the Bronx Defenders, which provides legal representation to poor Bronx residents charged with crimes. That effort tested the borough’s courts by trying to bring 54 misdemeanor marijuana possession cases to trial for clients who had been arrested as part of New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk program and wanted to fight the charges.

Instead, these defendants got a through-the-looking glass criminal justice system where charges that were punishable by a maximum sentence of three months in jail could take many times that just winding toward an always elusive trial. And when the increasingly elastic speedy-trial rules of the Bronx were finally stretched too far by delay after delay, prosecutors would sometimes drop the cases as if they were never quite worth their time anyway…”

                        author

Colin Rule

Colin Rule is CEO of Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc. ("RIS"), home of Mediate.com, MediateUniversity.com, Arbitrate.com, CaseloadManager.com and a number of additional leading online dispute resolution initiatives.  From 2017 to 2020, Colin was Vice President for Online Dispute Resolution at Tyler Technologies. Tyler acquired Modria.com, an ODR provider that Colin co-founded,… MORE >

Featured Mediators

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

Negotiation – Part 2

Last week we looked at the Olympic weight lifter and the sprinter. Both train hard to develop their bodies. Both are fit. Both are competitors. Both are disciplined. But how...

By Pete Desrochers
Category

Harvard Medical, Dental, & Public Health Newsletter: Conflict Resolution In Health Care

From the Disputing Blog of Karl Bayer, Victoria VanBuren, and Holly Hayes. I recently read a healthcare conflict resolution article in FOCUS, the newsletter of the Harvard Medical, Dental, &...

By Holly Hayes
Category

Understanding Alternative Dispute Resolution

This article is courtesy of HR.com, a website committed to making the lives of HR professionals and business managers easier.Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has been around for a long time....

By Bob Delaney

Find a Mediator

X
X
X