By Robin L. Barton
Years ago, friends and I were discussing whether we’d ever run for office. I said I’d never get elected because I had too many radical views. For example, I believed in legalizing marijuana and prostitution. These days, my “radical” views suddenly don’t seem so outrageous.
By Sheldon Krantz
The legal profession is failing to respond effectively to what is an appalling access-to-justice crisis in America. With a few notable exceptions—such as Stephen Bright at the Southern Center for Human Rights, Jonathan Rapping at Gideon’s Promise, Virginia Sloan at the Constitution Project, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Laurie Robinson, the former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs—the legal profession is saying and doing little to address the sorry state of indigent defense.
By Judy Greene
With Bill Bratton back at the helm of the New York Police Department (NYPD), many New Yorkers who remember his term of service in that post during the Giuliani administration are experiencing a bit of déjà vu. We recall his launch of CompStat, the NYPD system for ensuring command accountability at the precinct level, now replicated by police executives across the globe. And the return of George Kelling as an NYPD management guru appears to signal a reaffirmation of Bratton’s famous “broken windows” approach to crime control in New York City.
Many New Yorkers welcome these developments, believing that Bratton’s strict enforcement of “quality of life” crimes was the driving force that won our city’s victory against the 1980’s epidemic of violent crime. However, New York University sociologist David Greenberg disagrees. He says that while crime rates have plummeted, it’s not because of the NYPD.
By Marie Williams
The FY 2014 Omnibus spending bill , released by Congress mid- January, included proposed budget cuts for many key initiatives that dramatically reduce delinquency and promote proven, community-based alternatives that keep youth out of detention.
By Erik Roskes
Three and a half years ago, I blogged here about the systemic abandonment of some the most vulnerable among us – people with developmental disabilities. In that column, I described Joe, a man arrested after being confronted by police who clearly did not know what was happening to him.
By John Paolucci
As an internal affairs investigator and a crime scene unit supervisor, I responded to many incidents involving the use of force, some of which resulted in the murder of a police officer. I’ve seen situations where a cop’s hesitation cost him his life, and I will venture to guess that that, rather than thinking tactically, he was thinking about how much trouble he’ll get in if he discharges his firearm.
I know this from personal experience as well, but I was always a single guy with no kids who lived by the “It’s better to be tried by twelve than carried by six” credo. I was prepared to use as much force as necessary and all that I had available when a situation turned violent.
By Matthew T. Mangino
Trial by jury has become so rare in modern American criminal jurisprudence that the chance of being convicted at trial is little more than one in one hundred.
By Barry Krisberg
An effective justice system depends on an unwritten bargain. Citizens must cooperate with all branches of the criminal justice system. But at the same time, law enforcement agencies must be fair and sensitive to community needs.
By Robin L. Barton
When I entered the New York University (NYU) School of Law in 1989, I recall listening to classmates at orientation discuss why they’d chosen to attend law school. I was shocked at how many said their choice was either law school or business school. Many of them had liberal arts degrees from prestigious universities. They figured what else can you do with, say, a philosophy degree?
By Delores Jones-Brown
Every New York Police Department (NYPD) patrol car has the words “courtesy, professionalism and respect” (CPR) etched on its side. But for more than a decade, some New York City residents and visitors have complained that encounters with members of the city’s police have not met these high-minded standards.
Audio and video recordings have surfaced showing officers engaged in illegal searches, using foul language and being told to target racial or ethnic minority males for “stop and frisk.” In these recordings, officers are usually neither respectful nor courteous.