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Monday, April 11, 2011

Increased Faith in Court System Follows More Video Hearings

Video hearings surge in New York courts, helping alleviate security risks
The New York Daily News by Oren Yaniv  - EXCLUSIVE  -  April 10, 2011

Renato Seabra (left), who is charged with 2nd-degree murder in the murder of Portuguese journalist Carlos Castro in a Times Square hotel, appears on a screen via video at his arraignment. More and more court hearings are becoming viewings - with video technology beaming defendants into appearances, especially in Brooklyn. "It's the future of how courts are being run," said Justice Barry Kamins, administrative justice of Brooklyn Supreme Court, where video conferences nearly tripled in two years. "It's a win-win." There were 864 video-linked appearances in Brooklyn Supreme Court last year, the Department of Correction said. There were 353 in Manhattan, 331 in the Bronx, 21 in Queens and just one on Staten Island. Two years earlier, only 302 such hearings took place in Brooklyn, none in Manhattan, eight in the Bronx and six in Queens. The upswing began in 2009, partly to prevent an outbreak of swine flu from spreading - but video conference hearings have been allowed since the mid-1990s. If the inmate consents, they can be used for most proceedings - except trials and sentencing and plea hearings. Brooklyn is doing it more often because of technology, in part. The courthouse that opened in 2004 has many rooms with monitors and cameras. Most rooms in the older Manhattan Supreme Court and Queens Supreme Court lack the high-tech upgrades. Bronx Supreme Court opened in 2008 but has been plagued by construction and structural problems. And Staten Island Supreme Court lacks video apparatus. Every jail on Rikers Island, except the one housing sentenced men, has a teleconference facility. "It is helpful, since reducing inmate movement can reduce the security risks of transporting inmates," Correction Department spokesman Stephen Morello said. He added that video hearings haven't cut costs yet because there aren't enough to eliminate entire bus runs between the prison and the courts. On Friday, 12 defendants appeared via video in one Brooklyn courtroom. Each hearing lasted a few minutes, with lawyers updating the case status and scheduling another court date. "It seems like an efficient way of doing things," legal aid lawyer Marianna Lowenfeld said. Defense lawyers said some inmates prefer the trip from Rikers to see a judge, whether to break the routine of prison life or to see relatives in the courtroom. Others prefer a video hearing to avoid early wakeup calls or the glare of victims' loved ones. Accused cop killer George Villanueva last week opted for a video conference for his next court appearance in the death of Officer Alain Schaberger. The decision drew the ire of police union chief Patrick Lynch, who plans to pack the courtroom with cops. "We will be here," Lynch said. "I think he should be here."


Anonymous said...

The Center for Judicial Conduct ("SCJC") should start their investigation and probe of Judges and Court Corruption by scrutinizing the Family Court Judges in Brooklyn at Jay Street and Manhattan at 60 Lafayette Street.

Each and every one of these Family Court Judges are bought and paid for, or are beholden to, any one of the following monied lobbies in New York City, and these New York Family Court Judges know very well which side "their bread is buttered."

If they ever have a lawyer or client in front of them being represented or supported by these lobbying entities, they will literally bend over backwards to rule in their favor or accomodate them, even if it means violating Ethics Rules, endangering the welfare of children, breaking the law, accepting bribes in the form of awards/ dinners/ judgeships/ promotions, thereby alienating/ bankrupting/ jailing good parents who are not fortunate enough to be in the "right club," or worse.

These corrupted Family Court Judges will ignore psychologist reports that say the "unfavored" parents is mentally healthy and sound, and will encourage Forensic Psychologists to write bad things about the "unfavored" parent.

They will use their position on the Bench to intimidate, threaten, harass, and destroy anyone that stands in their path to awarding child custody to the "favored" parent, regardless if that "favored" parent is drug-addicted, alcoholic, abusive, violent, or mentally unstable, thus endangering the safety and welfare of the kids.

All one has to do, to find these corrupting monied lobbying agency culprits, is to read closely the biographies of these "whore-like Family Court Judges" to find out just who is corrupting the Family Court System in New York City, resulting in hurt, impoverished, and murdered children in the City of New York.

Even the Administration for Childrens Services ("ACS") in New York is terrified of these corrupting agencies for precisely this same reason - ie, their absolute and total power over the Bench in the New York Family Court System.

Anonymous said...

And there would be less lying and fudging of the written transcripts if these animals would be video taped, but that video tape would need to be sent offsight live.

Anonymous said...

What OCA does to official court transcripts is not an innocent is criminal tampering, and abuse of power, and both the JUDGE and COURT REPORTER can be charged and punished.
Someday OCA corruption will be handled and these people will be criminally convicted and terminated!
This is a problem all throughout the state and has been going on for many years...court of record is really.... a bench of rogues.

Anonymous said...

then would they pick and choose which videotapes they would use against who, like they rest of our system!

Anonymous said...

"Increased Faith In Court System" what are you crazy in the head? Anyone that has a brain or has had dealing with the "Court System" knows that it is CORRUPT! So tell me how anyone could have any faith in it? Question: who controls the videos? It has to be an independent entity because the Judges/court personel will alter the record the same way they do with transcript right now. So tell me who in their right mind has any trust or faith in the court system?

T Finnan said...

The blog has posted a revised NY law pertaining to videos use in court and deals with insuring a complete record of court proceedings. It was posted at

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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
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