LAST WEEK IN COURT

AUGUST 28 - SEPTEMBER 3

Statistics of Injustice

  • Out of all the cases watched this week where court watchers recorded the gender of the accused (41 total), roughly 70% were men and 30% were women.

    • According to one court watcher, over the course of one three-hour shift in court, the Brooklyn judge misgendered three different defendants.

  • Out of the cases where court watcher recorded the race of the accused (34 total), 50% were black, 26% were Latinx, and 17% were White.

  • Out of the cases where the charges were recorded (27 total), 22% were driving infractions, 18% were drug charges, 17% were petit larceny, and 14% were assault charges.

  • Out of the cases where the duration was recorded (30 total), 50% took between two and five minutes, 30% took under two minutes, and 20% took longer than five minutes.

A few cases from last week

  • In Manhattan, a black man in his sixties was charged with petit larceny for stealing 2 face creams and 3 bottles of shampoo from a Duane Reade. ADA Molly Mauck offered a plea and Judge Adams sentenced him to the CASES program and 30 days jail time, though the defense asked for less jail time.

  • In the same courtroom, on the same day, a man and a woman were both charged Grand Larceny for stealing cosmetics from Duane Reade. ADA Mauck argued that because the male defendant was homeless, he had no ties to the community, he requested bail be set at $15,000. The judge instead sentenced him to supervised release through the CASES program.

  • A white man in his sixties was charged with trespassing. ADA Kelly Stankiewicz argued that he was a “chronic offender,” having been arrested 42 times, having been charged with trespassing at the same building three times in a row. The defense asked that he be given time served or supervised release through CASES. The ADA argued that he was not eligible because they could not verify his address, and Judge Adams agreed, refusing to grant time served or supervised release.

    • Said one courtwatcher: “No big crime is being committed, sounds like he’s very annoying to these residents…If these types of minor incidents keep occurring, it’s clear the court’s solutions have been ineffective in getting him to stop/change his behavior. Not sure what the solution is, but clear there hasn’t been one. Is there one?”

  • A black woman in her sixties was charged with possession of contraband for trying to smuggle a phone into a correctional facility. She was already in state custody for a felony and was brought into the courtroom in chains and handcuffs (despite the fact that she used a cane). ADA Mauck requested bail be set at $1,000, but the judge set it at $1 instead.

  • A sixteen-year-old boy was charged with 2nd degree robbery in Manhattan. The defense noted that it was his first brush with the law and denied the allegations, saying “I don’t believe this case will proceed.” ADA Mauck made no offer or recommendation, requesting an order of protection and supervised release for the accused. Judge Adams called the boy’s father to come up to the bench and asked him if he would make sure his son followed an 8PM curfew. The boy was released on his own recognizance but with an 8PM curfew.

  • An ADA in Manhattan moved to dismiss marijuana charges against a Latino man, “in the interest of justice, due to the DA’s new marijuana policy.” However, K2 continues to be prosecuted: a young black man in Manhattan was charged with possession of a controlled substance in the 7th and sentenced. The defense argued that the compound seized was “unidentifiable” and that the DA’s marijuana policy was still relevant to this case and requested that the charges be dismissed. The judge responded, “make your motion on paper,” sentencing the defendant to time served and suspending his license for six months.