The Undoing of Speedy Trial in New York: the 'Ready Rule'

, New York Law Journal


Thomas M. O'Brien, an attorney with the criminal defense practice of The Legal Aid Society, writes: Over the past 40 years, the promise and the purpose of CPL §30.30 have been thwarted. Even the Rockefeller drug laws, another counterproductive artifact of that era, have been reformed. New York sorely needs "speedy-trial" reform that frees the system of its self-defeating dysfunction. Fixing a "ready rule" so that it moves cases to trial rather than obstructs their progress is an indispensable first step.

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    Great article! It is a perpetual fraud when every prosecutor in the state of New York at arraignment is announcing "ready for trial." If compliance with the discovery rule were made a precondition to a statement of readiness, cases would be disposed of much quicker. In most cases, it would be ineffective assistance of counsel to plead a client to a crime without first perusing discovery. So currently the defendant must choose between a speedy trial and effective assistance of counsel.

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