Monday, September 25, 2006

In Tiny Courts of N.Y., Abuses of Law and Power - New York Times

The New York Times today began a major three-part series on New York's lowest courts, the 1,250 town and village courts that handle traffic infractions, domestic violence protection orders, small claims, evictions, certain misdemeanors, and preliminary rulings in other criminal cases. William Glaberson, In Tiny Courts of N.Y., Abuses of Law and Power, Sept. 25, 2006.

Broken Bench
"This Is Not America"
A yearlong investigation by The New York Times of the life and history of New York State’s town and village courts found a long trail of judicial abuses and errors — and of governmental failure to curb them.
The article has a companion audio slideshow, narrated by the reporter. It shows some of the courts, tucked into firehouses, garages, and basements.

Some of the stories in the article are appalling -- e.g., the judge who kept a teenager who was arrested for a minor drug violation in jail for months until the court reopened; the judge who remarked that sometimes a woman needed a beating; the judge who jailed people who were unable to pay fines; and so on. Take a look.

Thanks: Maureen Howard.

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