Find Mediators Near You:

“The Process is the Punishment”

Novo Justice Blog by Colin Rule, article by William Glaberson, NYT

William Glaberson, NYT:

“Court delays of as long as five years in felony cases have pushed the Bronx criminal courts into the bottom ranks of courts nationally, reaching what even the judges call crisis levels.

But that backlog has a less-noted companion. The courts are so dysfunctional that those accused of minor offenses — misdemeanors like trespassing or driving with a suspended license — have all but lost the fundamental guarantee of the American legal system: the right to a trial.

The case of Mr. Zapata would usually be overlooked in the flood of 50,000 Bronx misdemeanor filings a year. But he was part of a special legal-defense effort led by the Bronx Defenders, which provides legal representation to poor Bronx residents charged with crimes. That effort tested the borough’s courts by trying to bring 54 misdemeanor marijuana possession cases to trial for clients who had been arrested as part of New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk program and wanted to fight the charges.

Instead, these defendants got a through-the-looking glass criminal justice system where charges that were punishable by a maximum sentence of three months in jail could take many times that just winding toward an always elusive trial. And when the increasingly elastic speedy-trial rules of the Bronx were finally stretched too far by delay after delay, prosecutors would sometimes drop the cases as if they were never quite worth their time anyway…”

                        author

Colin Rule

Colin Rule is CEO of Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc. ("RIS"), home of Mediate.com, MediateUniversity.com, Arbitrate.com, CaseloadManager.com and a number of additional leading online dispute resolution initiatives.  From 2017 to 2020, Colin was Vice President for Online Dispute Resolution at Tyler Technologies. Tyler acquired Modria.com, an ODR provider that Colin co-founded,… MORE >

Featured Mediators

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

Can You Be a Litigator and a Mediator?

“You know what, Ken? A bad idea would be to let your client walk out of here today and drag this thing out for another year, wasting more time and...

By Scott Levin
Category

Jeff Krivis: Client-Centered Process of Mediation – Video

Jeff Krivis describes the benefit of mediation working alongside and with lawyers. The client feels more involved in legal process and discussion when they're allowed to put their thoughts and...

By Jeffrey Krivis
Category

Preventing Additional Disputes about Money

Disputes about money are one of the major issues we see in mediation. When a business is running well and the economy is good the topic rarely comes up, but...

By Joanna Wares
×