Are Speedy Trials Now Settled In The Bronx? (Spoiler Alert: No)

The New York Times headline was surprisingly encouraging.

Speedy Trials Return to a Bronx Court Known for Delays and Dysfunction

To call it “delays and dysfunction” was to grossly understate the problem, which was revealed as a New York disgrace with the revelations following Kalief Browder’s suicide. In 2016, Bronx Defenders brought suit to deal with the problem. The suit was now settled.

The settlement of the case, Trowbridge et al v. DiFiore, was signed on Thursday afternoon by attorneys from the Bronx Defenders and the New York attorney general’s office. It mandates that the courts produce quarterly reports about how long cases are taking to resolve and establishes a formal process to request a speedy trial for defendants whose cases are languishing.

The first part, about quarterly reports, is the sort of thing only a government clerk could love. They adore statistics, which they can point to when deciding whom to give an award for a job well done or throw under the bus or another massive failure. But it’s the second part that was weird and could only make sense to someone wholly unfamiliar with speedy trial in New York.

…establishes a formal process to request a speedy trial for defendants…

— Read on

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