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Sunday, June 21, 2009

NY Daily News Editorial: This Court is a Crime...

This court is a crime: Judges are drowning in misdemeanor cases
The New York Daily News - EDITORIAL - June 21, 2009

The campaign to succeed Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has produced a markedly good idea: Criminal Court must be rescued from the disaster it has become. Candidate Cy Vance has keyed on the court's dreadful performance as the tribunal charged with dispensing justice in misdemeanor cases. He's promising to lead a crash fixup program for Manhattan, but the dysfunction extends to all five boroughs. Starved for resources, the court has become the weak link in the justice system. As the place that determines what happens to arrests in crimes like vandalism, petty theft and prostitution, it is critical to quality of life. But it no longer remotely fits the definition of a court as an institution where charges are tried before an impartial magistrate. Not when, last year, it managed to hold trials in one-tenth of one percent of its cases. "Kafkaesque" is the right word for a court where the odds that any defendant will stand trial are, literally, 1,000 to 1. What happens day in and day out are paper-shuffling and endless plea bargaining, often by repeat offenders who spin the revolving door faster than a roulette wheel. Every performance measure is appalling. The caseload is up; so are dismissals, backlogs and the time cases linger before disposition. The number of judges and trials is down. Last year, the court initiated 357,480 cases, 21% more than in 1990, the high year for crime in New York. But, with a third fewer judges, the number of cases awaiting action has soared 169% and the number of dismissals has climbed 28%. Ten years ago, arraignment to disposition took an average of 69 days in Brooklyn. By 2008, it was 122 days, up 77%. During that time, Queens was up 58%, Manhattan, 54% and Staten Island, 45%. Such statistics are not kept for the Bronx because of an experiment in courthouse management. And all the trends have worsened over the past five years. By state law, Criminal Court can have up to 107 judges. But many were reassigned to other courts even as caseloads increased. For example, Staten Island has two criminal court judges. Last year they processed 13,051 filings - 26 each per working day. What's happening in Criminal Court is not fair to defendants and deprives the public of tough law enforcement. Vance is right to call for reform. State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, the city's five DAs and City Hall Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt need to swing into action.

12 comments:

Angry at the Media said...

Why doesn't the Daily News, or the Post or the NYTimes for that matter, do some real stories about the court corruption? Someone in someone's pocket?

Anonymous said...

I believe a boat load of felony level and misdeamenor crime's were presented to the DA'S office and still nothing has been done.I think we're going to see who steps up to the plate and recognizes these crime's that have been swept under the table.. I wonder who the sweeper was?

Anonymous said...

Working for judges for many, many years, I NEVER found that the caseload or anything else prevented trials in misd. cases.

The problem was consistently.....even when the caseload fluctuated to very high levels..coming from the judiciary alone.

These robes and robettes demanded and coerced pleas from the often green ADA'S...so the judges could have longer lunches, leave early, and work shorter weeks and take multiple vacations...well known by everyone who is courtroom savvy.

Misd. trials are mostly simple and can be accomplished in an hour or less. Years ago....when caseloads were heavier.... we set aside a week to do them..one after another. Few trials really ever went, because the defts over time.... realized that they were guilty and their supposed witnesses were not showing up.

This appears to be an attempt to correct a non-situation, so the public can question the corruption being reported, because the courts are so overwhelmed and maybe the alleged corruption is just a product of oversight from too much work and stress.

The truth citizens is this.... OCA has a tremendous budget, no matter what the state finances are...they are exempt from all layoffs...extremely well paid employees...every need they have or desire they request is granted...and jobs for hacks and multiple relatives are filled daily and at the highest levels...many in the 6 figures!

Whatever this story is attempting to state is perplexing to me...as an ex- long time employee, who saw it all forever...I am in disbelief that anyone who knows the NY STATE JUDICIARY....even believes this garbage or feels comfortable enough unethically to write about it...lol,lol,lol,!

Anonymous said...

Tembeckjian's wife Barbara works at the Daily News, so how many real investigative things do you think will be done? And by the way the record will show that she has killed the hard hitting stories for years in the past on the courts.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention...the courts are endowed with excess money to pay other state workers(correction officers and local police depts)along with present state workers who should be doing the people's work and are exempt for this purpose....to devise yearlong criminal operations to attack using any and all means.... ex-employees at their personal residences or anyone else in the public, that gets in their way and reports their existing corruption! The funding is unending and unreported! I believe it may be covered under salaries.

So where does this money come from officially?

Couldn't OCA have utilized these above funds for terror.... to do MISD trials or pay for additional court clerk salaries...which have remained stagnant for the past 28 yrs..even though every single title in OCA has been advanced and some more than once?

You must wonder why...is it because the clerks see all and can tell it all, but usually don't in the open for fear of judicial vendettas?

You see, the judges cannot force clerks to commit wrongdoing, because OCA has put most of the CLERK'S procedures in a multiple check situation? YES..THAT IS IT!

OCA only promotes and elevates grade levels of those they can manipulate...court reporters are the worst employees for the taxpayer and citizens...sorry but true!

You want to know what occurs in courthouses...endear yourself quietly to a court clerk...and wham...you will be astonished at the truth they are holding... waiting to be told!

Anonymous said...

Re Anonymous-"I forgot to mention" - you're 500% right. I also worked in the system, and ever since OCA moved from 270 B'way to Beaver, have seen many (appointed) titles created by them that never existed previously; meanwhile salaries of employees who work the "front lines" of the courts, i.e. Court Clerks, Court Officers, Court Reporters and who are certified, have been stuck virtually at the same salary level/increments for years.

Anonymous said...

The math is simple: It just can't be done.

About 40 years ago when I was a NYC detective working in the DA office I was accosted by a street person in the Times Square area. He took a fancy to my sunglasses and stopped me demanding that I give them to him. The next step, I am sure was to take the forcibly from me. That was short circuited for obvious reasons.

I remember him telling me that I would have to go to court numerous times if I arrested him. No problem, pal, I am not only a cop, but I work in the building.

Not even I could force a trial. The guy pled out to something or other and he did get 5 days.

There is no question in my mind that if I wasn't a cop this crime would have escalated into a full scale robbery.

It is just not going to happen because it can't happen. Not even the second coming of Judge Roy Bean as the district attorney is going to change that.

Anonymous said...

This is a giant business with so many jackals feeding at the trough. Can it be fixed; yes. But Tembeckjian's wife and other swine in the media keep a lid on the corruption. Lazy lawyers who work neither for the State or their clients spend hours negotiating deals which harm the people and their innocent clients. A bright media light would cause these cockroaches to mend their ways

Anonymous said...

Where is Saint Andrew, our AG? Is he pining over the conflict of his Patron Saint's duty to protect crooked lawyers and judges versus his duty to the people.

Anonymous said...

Don't hold out much hope for the feds much less, the AG (Andy) coming in, they don't have a dog in this race and besides they're all pussies.

Anonymous said...

It is easy to find the salaries of the OCA employees. What is really interesting, is how many of them make well over $100,000 for a 9 to 5 job, and they don't even do what they are supposed to.
Why do they have so many chiefs and have such dismal results?
There is no accountability to the citizens of the state who pay their salaries. They only want to protect themselves and their enablers.
Cuomo is one of the major enablers. He knows what they are doing, but choses to ignore it and to throw out some little teasers to show that NYS still has an AG.
He should get off his you know what at take care of the problem instead of faciliating it.

Anonymous said...

It is true that OCA employees embrace very costly salaries...specifically the many titles created by OCA for the politicians and judiciary... family and friends.

If the media would publish these... 9-5... salaries in the Sunday paper in upstate NY, (Buffalo)instead of jamming and tilting the news for days... with the overtime salaries of the police and fire depts...the public may realize the bomb that is waiting to explode, and use that information to begin taking serious action.... action that should have been taken when the Buffalo News recognized that the courts were screwing and corrupting from within...in all ways you have imagined!

The media here seems hell bent on turning the public against the hard working citizens who are maintaining the quality of life up here and allowing the slugs working in the judiciary..who provide NO function other than sitting in their offices engaged in constant gossip about every employee's personal tragedies, to then garner other weak minded employees to bully said employees because they are experiencing a vulnerable time...and then lazily collect massive paychecks every 2 weeks.

These loser exempt titles and their extensions, then head to the multiple casinos we have... many nights a week...to drink and binge their evil deeds away! A sure sign they know they are evil people.

The Buffalo News needs to remove their behind from 92 Franklin St...the headquarters of the 8th dist... OCA.... and also the personnel dept and chambers of the administrative judge and the office of her/his assistant ...and start acting responsibly.

The Buffalo News as a media outlet is an embarrassment with a tremendous readership that they ignore, to recklessly protect the corrupt judiciary that exists in WNY.... and for what benefits?

The Buffalo News must be getting some large payoff to be constantly kissing the behinds of these stanky scumbags...fess up news and tell us why you are doing this.

Again...Cuomo cannot investigate or prosecute OCA...because they are defending them in several lawsuits...this is a conflict of interest, and they don't want to do it if it wasn't...it has to be the Feds!

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2