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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50895 Find in a Library
Title: SOME THOUGHTS - A JUDGE'S VIEW OF THE PRETRIAL DETENTION SYSTEM
Journal: COLUMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:(1977)  Pages:15-20
Author(s): B M WRIGHT
Corporate Author: Columbia University
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Columbia University
New York, NY 10027
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A CRIMINAL COURT JUDGE CRITICIZES ARREST, ARRAIGNMENT, AND PRETRIAL HEARING PRACTICES THAT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST MINORITIES AND THE POOR.
Abstract: THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT IS ACCUSED OF NOT ALWAYS READING DETAINEES THEIR RIGHTS (OR MAKING CERTAIN THAT THE RIGHTS ARE UNDERSTOOD WHEN THEY ARE READ), AND OF MAKING DETAINEES UNDERGO AN ORDEAL OF WAITING, AT TIMES BECAUSE THE ARRESTING OFFICERS WANTS TO SEE A PARTICULAR DETAINEE HELD IN JAIL AND THEREFORE WAITS UNTIL A JUDGE LIKELY TO DENY PRETRIAL RELEASE IS ON THE BENCH. DEFENDANTS ARE URGED TO SPEAK OUT AT THE ARRAIGNMENT WHEN THEY FEAR THEY ARE GOING TO BE VICTIMIZED BY AN UNREASONABLY HIGH BAIL. IT IS POINTED OUT THAT MANY JUDGES TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION WHETHER THE DEFENDANT IS LIKELY TO COMMIT ANOTHER CRIME IF GRANTED PRETRIAL RELEASE. THIS LINE OF THINKING IS SAID TO RUN COUNTER TO THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE. THE DELIBERATE SETTING OF BAIL AT AN AMOUNT KNOWN TO BE BEYOUND THE REACH OF THE DEFENDANT IS SAID TO AMOUNT TO PREVENTIVE DETENTION. DEFENDANTS WHO HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZED BY UNREASONABLY HIGH BAIL ARE URGED TO COMPLAIN AT THE PRETRIAL HEARING, CITING THE PURPOSES OF BAIL AND THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE. DEFENDANTS ARE ALSO URGED TO DEMAND THAT, IN EXCHANGE FOR THE DRASTIC PRETRIAL MEASURE OF KEEPING A CITIZEN IN JAIL, THE PROSECUTOR BE COMPELLED EITHER TO REVEAL ALL EVIDENCE AGAINST THE DEFENDANT OR TO ACQUIESCE TO THE DEFENDANT'S RELEASE. THE FAILURE OF MOST JUDGES TO UNDERSTAND THE GHETTO WAY OF LIFE IS POINTED OUT. FOR EXAMPLE, MANY JUDGES TEND TO THINK THAT YOUNG DEFENDANTS WHO CANNOT GIVE A PRECISE STREET ADDRESS FOR A FRIEND ARE LYING, FAILING TO RECOGNIZE THAT MANY GHETTO YOUTHS KNOW EXACTLY WHERE THEIR FRIENDS ARE BUT CANNOT GIVE AN ADDRESS. JUDGES ARE URGED TO TREAT DEFENDANTS AS THEY THEMSELVES WOULD WISH TO BE TREATED WERE THEY EVER TO STAND ACCUSED. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Arraignment; Arrest and apprehension; Bail discrimination; Bail/Financial Release; Detention; Minorities; Preliminary hearing; Rights of the accused
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50895

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