New York residents may be interested to learn that white as well as black bail judges often show bias toward black defendants. This is according to a recent study that was conducted in the Miami and Philadelphia areas. The authors of the study said that the evidence suggested that racial stereotypes were a factor in the bias that is shown towards black defendants.
Police officers in New York and around the country have long relied on lineups to provide prosecutors with evidence linking suspects to the crimes they are accused of committing, but a growing number of cases involving individuals who were wrongly incarcerated for years or even decades has raised questions about the reliability of witness identifications. A Louisiana man convicted after a witness pointed him out in court was released in January after 38 years behind bars, and lawmakers in the state responded by introducing rules designed to make the identification process more transparent and fair.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the case of Carpenter v United States, and the ruling has major implications for privacy rights in New York and elsewhere. The court determined that authorities needed a warrant to access the man's cell site location information (CSLI). Prior to the Carpenter decision, officers only needed to have a good reason to believe that accessing this information would legitimately help in a given matter.
The opioid epidemic has led to the loss of many lives in New York and in the rest of the nation. As the number of overdose deaths has increased, police and prosecutors have started charging some of the bystanders of overdoses with crimes.
New York residents would never want someone to be convicted of a crime he or she didn't commit. Unfortunately, some experts say it happens much more than it should.
Being convicted for a crime one didn't commit is a nightmare scenario most New Yorkers wouldn't care to contemplate. However, that nightmare could be a reality for up to 6 percent of prisoners nationwide according to a new study. The study was published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology in April.
People from all walks of life in New York get caught driving while intoxicated, but, in Broome County, first-time offenders have an opportunity to avoid a criminal record. The district attorney's office has started an alternative program that involves an ankle or wrist monitor that checks defendants for alcohol consumption for 90 days. In addition to monitoring, people would receive alcohol counseling and attend victim impact panels.
New Yorkers accused of crimes could be more likely to plead guilty despite the potential strength of their defense due to a system that tends to keep people who are poor or economically marginalized locked up for longer. The system of cash bail means that numerous people who are not convicted remain in jail prior to trial, and the desire to bring an end to pretrial detention can impel indigent defendants to accept plea bargains.
A recent report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission indicates that black men serve longer sentences than white men convicted of the same crimes. The commission is an independent and bipartisan agency of the judicial branch of the federal government. It is tasked with issuing sentencing guidelines and monitoring how closely these guidelines are followed by federal judges in New York and across the country.
Criminal case defendants in New York may be more likely to be offered favorable plea deals if they are white. A study of over 30,000 misdemeanors in Wisconsin found that white defendants had more than a 70 percent higher chance of being offered a dismissal, reduction or dropping of charges than black defendants.