New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Month: October 2016

Driver could face personal injury claim in drag race accident

The state of New York has established speed limits and other traffic laws in order to protect the general public. Whenever individuals choose to disobey these regulations, they put themselves and those around them at risk for accidents and even personal injury. Additionally, when one chooses to disobey these regulations, he or she also chooses to accept the consequences for this decision. In April 2016, two young men chose to drag race down a Colden, New York street. One of the vehicles in the drag race also carried two passengers. At the same time as the race, a truck was turning into a...

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What good is an apology?

The head of the International Association of Chiefs of Police issued an apology this week to the minorities across the nation for their mistreatment at the hands of police departments during the last century. He spoke of how trust has been undermined and how police action has exacerbated tension between officers and the communities they are supposed to "protect and serve." He spoke of the long history of the police enforcing written laws that led them to perform "unpalatable tasks." Apparently he did not point to specific examples of police engaging in these "tasks" but they would include a...

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“Extended and Arbitrary” Solitary Confinement For Juveniles

Earlier this summer, President Obama's administration made it illegal for juveniles within the federal prison system to be placed in solitary confinement. New York State and New York City jails ban the practice as well. Yet just last month, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office, in Syracuse, came under fire for subjecting 16- and 17-year olds to "extended and arbitrary" solitary confinement, sometimes for periods that last several consecutive months. Both the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Services of Central New York have filed suit against the sheriff's office. According to...

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Transgender Women Unfairly Targeted In Prostitution Sweeps

Late last week, the Legal Aid Society of New York filed a federal civil rights suit that seeks to repeal a 40-year old statute in the state's penal code, which grants the police broad authority to arrest individuals for suspected prostitution. According to a recent article in the New York Times, the law is so broad that individuals can "be arrested while talking to two men on a corner; while talking to someone through a car window; while walking down the street with a bottle of Korbel; for going to your job selling sofas; if it happens that you have worked as a prostitute before; just for...

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District Attorneys: elected but rarely opposed

There are many problems with America's criminal justice system. One significant area that receives little attention is the prosecutor's office. It is one of the most powerful elements of the criminal justice system, yet it is subject to very little real oversight. Sure, most district attorneys and state's attorneys are elected, but that may be as much part of the problem as is the tremendous power they exercise. Prosecutors are often elected based on how "tough" they are, and that toughness is typically measured by one simple number: the number of convictions they secure. They are not graded...

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