This week we asked readers their thoughts on the cause of the nagging logjam in the New York State Court System and their suggestions for a solution.
When a person is indicted for a crime, let’s say involuntary manslaughter, and he goes into the system, first he’s arraigned and he sees the judge. Then they postpone it until he sees his lawyer. If the procedure is a, b and c, then it’s a good thing. But it depends on the individual. If he was born with a silver spoon [in his mouth], nine times out of 10 he will get probation, whereas the person born with a shovel [in his mouth] will get five to 10 years.
The court system sucks. I was just in court for three years fighting a criminal case. I got picked up for a knife [possession]. I guess somebody ran and threw some drugs and they left it in a van and they couldn’t put it on anybody and when I got arrested with a knife, I got arraigned for the drug charge. So I fought it for three long years. They took $300 from me in cash and I beat the case in October, and I just got the money back. Why did they hold my money if I was found not guilty?
Well, I don’t trust the court system, I don’t like the court system. The court system is just corrupt, period. The cops are corrupt. You go there and they keep you over 24 hours, they don’t feed you, the walls are dirty, you catch diseases sitting in there, they beat you up. I mean what more do you want? I just fought a case over something I didn’t do, and it’s taken nine months and I still go back on July 11.
I don’t really know too much about the Bronx courts and I have no idea why they’re actually backed up on their cases. But it’s a real headache because you try and resolve a problem and it takes months and months and at the end of the day, they do nothing. I don’t know how we can fix that. A case may take weeks and if you work, the job’s not going to pay you for the time that you lose. So they should expedite the process of handling cases to make it a little faster.
I know the system well and I know for a fact that there’s way too many unnecessary criminal cases that can be settled outside the court, like harassment. I’ve spoken to public defenders about this and they say (these crimes) fill up the courts in the criminal system. It’s a waste of our tax dollars and they should be after the big criminals, the ones that kill people and rob people and white collar crimes, but they rarely do. The cops have to go after the hardened criminals and prosecute them and lock them away for good. That should speed up the courts.
Van Cortlandt Park South