Rebecca J. Kavanagh @DrRJKavanagh New York City Public Defender, @theappeal Media Relations Director, Writer, @nyulaw, @sydneylawschool, @sydney_uni. Sydney ✈️ NYC. Views my own. Sep. 08, 2019 1 min read

In Brooklyn night court, a colleague had a client charged with stealing an ice cream cone. The prosecutor offered a misdemeanor plea & time served.

The judge said nope, 30 days jail.

The ADA said they'd agree to release w/o bail.

The judge said nope, he was gonna set bail.

Colleague decided to hold case over for next day arraignments.

Judge then decided he would do whatever he could to stymie this plan & put note in court file that his recommendation was 30 days jail.

Judges are hesitant to undercut other judges plea recommendations.

The prosecutor who previously had been willing to make the time served offer and release the client without bail, then changed their offer to 30 days to match the judge's offer.

For everyone who is going to jump up and down now and say this person must have had a long record, no, actually just driving offenses.

And it is extraordinary for a judge not to go along with a prosecutor's plea recommendation at arraignments on a minor charge.

This judge just decided seemingly on a whim that he felt a way about this case and did what he did without any appreciation for the fact that actual human beings were affected by his pettiness.

PS. This judge came to the bench as a criminal defense attorney so many of us were excited (most judges being prosecutors). But his practice was exclusively DWIs so he seemingly has no concept of the reality of how the criminal law functions to oppress poor Black & Brown people.

The judge's name is Judge Perlmutter. I don't know the name of the prosecutor.

You can follow @DrRJKavanagh.


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