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Jamie Fellner, Senior Counsel, US Program, Human Rights Watch explains how bails are set and the role of bondsmen how bail penalizes the poor.
As someone who treats people with addictions, I would not presume to comment on legal issues, as they are not the area in which I trained, nor my expertise. For Ms. Fellner to make statements on the impact and severity of drugs such as marijuana (I believe she said that it was "not a bad drug") and to state that marijuana is not a gateway drug when she is not medically trained oversteps her area of expertise and sends an incorrect message to the listeners.
This poor obstacle to freedom is a soft spot for me a former legal aide in Manhattan. No doubt issues exist with the poor getting wrapped up in the criminal justice system ad getting screwed stuck in jail. However, one shouldnt beleive all that is read as the NY Times has run into some trouble and will be having to shell out some bucks with the publishing of “For Poor, Bail System Can Be an Obstacle to Freedom" as the persons quoted in the article state the quotes were fabricated and other completely taken out of context.
The Times writes 'Those who are supposed to give poor defendants a shot at freedom while their cases are pending are instead the ones locking them up…
I have previously read other articles by John Eligon quoting research from HRW.org in 'The Price of Freedom” that state “…87 percent were incarcerated because they were unable to post the bail amount at their arraignment.' The research contained in here was not used in the article?
We all know that bail bondsmen are private business owners and their clients are 90% poor and working poor. The HRW.org research makes no mention a the bail bondsmen in New York as being the obstacle.
We pulled this up attached the NY Times on google.http://www.prlog.org/11242654-ny-times-article-dissected-bondsmen-label-it-intellectually-dishonest-misquoted-key-facts-omitted.html
Enjoy, as the scandal that is presently unfolding will be intresting to hear from the cheap seats. Liz.
Len you never Quote me!!
Police can't break into & search a defendant's home because of the 4th Amendment, but why wouldn't the same action by a civilian be illegal under laws against trespassing or breaking & entering?
As a person of color and a former prosecutor, these sorts of discussion are always disappointing, particularly where the guest speakers are white. Leaving drug offenses aside, there is never any discussion of the persons who are the victims of the crimes (even if misdemeanors), who are also overwhelmingly black or Hispanic. For many of those victims, the fact that the accused is on Rikers can offer some sense of relief.
The pot of today is not the pot of this elite womans youth. It is not the mud slide at woodstock. It is a powerful drug that has become very strong, and leads to wasted youth.
As a Bed Stuy resident, I can assure you that people get arrested for smoking pot because they do it blatantly and openly. You can't stick your finger in a cop's eye and not expect a reaction. Black and Latino males do not have living rooms with bongs in them to 'kick it' in so they do the same thing white boys are doing, just in public - hence, they get ticketed and arrested. It is a pernicious and destabilizing factor of every poor neighborhood - the drug business operates on the street and so do it's violent consequences - visible and painful to all residents who are craving safety and stability. Your guest comment on Park Avenue people not getting arrested for smoking pot is so ignorant as to nullify everything else she is saying. Get REAL!
I am waiting for her to use the word rendition.
Another white liberal helping the black community by fighting laws that help that community.
I was a Legal Aid lawyer for 12 years in Manhattan. What Ms. Felner says about bail is the law, but not the practice. If one looks at the CJ system not as a system of adjudication, but part of a system of public order that is as Ms. Felner says, mostly responsive to the volume of "public order" arrests, it's quite successful. Bail is used to punish primarily poor and minority folks. Clearly the arrest of the guy going between cars, and the bail set had everything to do with his perceived race/class status.
People who are smoking marijuana or urinating in public should be ticketed. Arrest is a waste of police resources.
I was arrested for a small amount of marijuana two years ago in BK. It was my first time being arrested. I spent the night in holding and then released the next morning. My court date came and I had researched that there's a "First time walk" for possession of a minor amount of marijuana in NYC. But it didn't matter because the police never showed up to court and the evidence was nowhere to be found. After 90 days of staying out of similar trouble, all charges were dropped.
The vast majority of crime is done by blacks and hispanics, because they make up the underclass. At one time it was italian and other ethnics.
She gave up her true purpose by claiming it is a "social control". The MTA ruled it illegal to go between cars, due to safety. She want to save the underclass from "oppression".
Another chapter in the class warfare epic that is America in the 21st century.
we are supposed to ignore someone smoking marijuana on the street? Someone urinating in public, let's just allow it. what is someone has skipped bail before, that should not be consiered in setting bail?
The quality of life in NYC has improved. Does she want a return to the chaos of the 60's and 70's. She will move to woodstock while the people truly affected remain in the ruins.
The plea deal save the system money and many of these people are guilty and know they are guilty.
Who will bury the dead if these young misdemeanants don't go to Riker's Island?
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