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Criminal Justice

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Prisoners Hoping for Mercy Place Little Faith in Cuomo

Despite the governor’s promise of a progressive overhaul of the clemency process, very few people have made the cut. Cuomo’s 24 commutations in his term don’t match the pace of his father. Meanwhile, the pandemic has upped the stakes.

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Why Are Shootings Up in New York City? We Asked Four People on the Front Lines

A mother who lost a son, a cop, a violence interrupter and an academic weigh in on the murder spike that’s accompanied the pandemic — and talk about how to drive the violence back down.

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Close-Rikers Jail Plan Faces Pandemic-Driven Delay as Budget’s Cut by $500M

Funding for building four borough jails has been sliced to $8.2 billion, a 10-year city budget forecast says — with a new construction timeline that could extend two years past the mayor’s 2026 Rikers shutdown pledge.

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Two Dozen Subway Cars Struck in Overnight Weekend Graffiti Storm

Taggers hit 24 cars on six lines between Saturday and Monday, including an M train coated in "Alice in Wonderland"-like images. Most incidents occurred in tunnels during overnight shutdowns.

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MetroCard Scammer’s Been Arrested 160 Times. Can He Turn His Life Around?

Charles Barry became the poster child for the fight to repeal bail reform. But some criminal justice advocates say his case illustrates the system’s failure to address problems that could have kept him out of jail.

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‘Hundreds’ of Prisoners Approved for Early Release Stuck Behind Bars as COVID Spikes

The state has sprung thousands of nonviolent offenders from lockups due to the pandemic. But many who are eligible for a head start on freedom remain held, Legal Aid reports.

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Families Fear for Inmates as COVID Spike Puts State Prisons on Lockdown

A drastic increase in coronavirus cases at upstate lockups has loved ones and prison critics concerned about health and human rights issues. Meanwhile, New Jersey just released 2,000 prisoners to stem pandemic spread.

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Key Government Stats Missing After Blown Reporting Deadlines — With COVID to Blame, Says City Hall

Virtually every municipal agency has skipped legally mandated deadlines for filing reports, say record-keepers.

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A Young Prisoner’s Dilemma: Freedom or a Risky Shot at Clearing His Name

Prakash Churaman, 21, has been behind bars since age 15, convicted in a Queens murder. But he’s turning down a plea deal that could set him free — and is ready to risk a new trial that could send him away for decades.

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A Broken Bond: How New York Judges Are Getting Around Bail Reform

Defendants awaiting trial were supposed to be offered a more affordable form of bail. But some judges have set the price of bonds sky-high, leaving many behind bars.

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‘Raise the Age’ Observers Find Progress and Pain in Courts Following Juvenile Justice Reforms

Nearly three dozen young New Yorkers have fanned out across the city’s courtrooms to evaluate the transformation that halted the automatic prosecution of 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.

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Too Many Parolees Being Sent Back to Rikers Unnecessarily, Advocates Say

Criminal justice reform advocates contend that authorities should stop putting people who have not committed any new crimes in jail for technical parole violations — especially during a pandemic.

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Vance Ally Lucy Lang Joins Manhattan DA Race, Signaling Cy Won’t Run Again

The Manhattan District Attorney says he has still not decided whether to seek re-election in 2021. But observers say Lang, who worked for Vance, would join the crowded race only if he opted out.

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State Ignores Its Own New Law Protecting Job Applicants With Soon-to-be-Dropped Criminal Cases, Suit Claims

Justice Center for People With Special Needs targeted for refusing to clear a background check for a Brooklyn man whose charges a judge had agreed to dismiss.

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Delays on Rikers Replacement Jails Buoy Critics, Even as Planning Moves Ahead

Pandemic snags smaller jails’ timeline, giving new hope to opponents — while advocates say recent drop in inmate population proves it’s time to press ahead.

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‘ShotSpotter’ Tested as Shootings and Fireworks Soar, While Civil Rights Questions Linger

Sensors used to pinpoint gunfire now cover nearly a quarter of the city. It’s unclear how effective they are -— or even where they are — amid concerns of rights abuses.

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Solitary Confinement Could End in NYC

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New Jersey No-Bail System Eyed By New York Leaders Reckons With Bias Risk

By some measures, the Jersey approach is a success. But critics warn public safety reviews by judges can hold past injustices against defendants.

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Bail Reform Rollback Battle Rips Rift in Albany

Senate rethink of mandatory pretrial release for criminal defendants opens divide among Democrats as Assembly activists slam "Jim Crow-style" flip.

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Cops in NYPD Trial Accused of Harassing Bronx Kids Over ‘Frozen’ Bookbag

Two NYPD officers with a history of complaints were among officers who allegedly stopped and manhandled teens brothers over a Disney-themed backpack.