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CORRECTIONS (Adding to Tony's):
(1) No one is found "innocent", they are found "not guilty"--there is a difference.
(2) A person held pre-arraignment must have a probable cause determination within 24 hours of the seizure or they can be released through a writ of habeas corpus.
(3) While people held are moving towards a trial hardly anyone ever goes to trial (under 3% in NYC)
(4) Many people charged and held have no idea what is going on with their case. Those who think they are being held prior to arraignment for 5 days, probably have no idea that they were arraigned. If you go to night court at 100 Centre Street and time araignments, you might be shocked to find that in many instances it takes less than a minute. The defendant may have no idea of what is going on.
an inch deep, a foot wide, and a well-spring of misinformation for the public to drink from. just because one has a valid premise, journalists should not presume when they interview journalists abour their pieces that their guest has anything more than a surface understanding of the problem. having someone with real knowledge of the system and the law to correct this guy as you went along would have been helpful, and better journalism.
as with most journalists who write on the criminial justice system in ny, this guy has it almost right, but the devil is in the details. those charges with misdemeanors may not be remanded pre-conviction under any circumstance, many held on bail are released within 5-7 days, not because they take a plea, but because the statutes require their release where the prosecution has failed to meet certain threshhold burdens, which they often don't. etc... however, the basic premise that bail disproportionately impacts poor people is absolutely true and can not said to be anything but a conscious tool of the "system"
Thank goodness those pot smokers are being locked up. We all know how dangerous they are... Isn't systematic extortion grand? Enjoying the police state yet people?
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