The DA: Not Ready When You Are

, New York Law Journal

Thomas M. O'Brien, an attorney with the special litigation unit of the Criminal Defense Practice of The Legal Aid Society, writes: There is a scenario that occurs in New York City Criminal Court in numerous cases. A case is scheduled for a trial to begin on a particular date. The accused appears in court. The defense attorney is there. The judge is there. Court personnel are there . . . At that point, the prosecutor on the case, or the designated courtroom assistant district attorney, announces that the prosecution is "not ready" for the trial. An adjournment is requested. The judge sets a new date for trial, some two or three months into the future, and the parties disperse. Presumably, the defendant's statutory right to a speedy trial - 90 days for a misdemeanor, will prevent the prosecutor from causing similar delay again. That might have been the intent of the Legislature, but the reality of the administration of criminal justice in New York City is radically different.

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