Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Getting away with it

From the NY Post:

Clivie Smith, 16, was hanging out on a Bronx street corner in 2007 when three men started harassing him. The youth ran into a nearby bodega, where a clerk handed him a loaded .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol.

Smith came out shooting, cops say, striking one of his assailants and an innocent bystander. He then fired at narcotics officers responding to the scene.

The teenager never went to prison. He didn’t even go to trial. Not because the city couldn’t have tried to prosecute him on at least criminal possession of a weapon — but because the district attorney’s office took too long to bring a case.

Clivie Smith is one of the lucky criminals who got off because of a “30.30 motion” — referring to the section of the state criminal procedure law that mandates prosecutors be ready to try a case within six months for felonies and 90 days for high-level misdemeanors.

But he’s far from the only one. Brooklyn and Manhattan prosecutors gave 14,000 alleged criminals “Get Out of Jail Free” cards last year because they failed to meet deadliness. At the Manhattan DA’s office, the rate of 30.30 dismissals has increased a staggering 36% over the past four years.

The results are sometimes tragic. This year, Clivie Smith was the alleged ringleader of a group that shot innocent Bronx girl Vada Vasquez, 14, who was caught in the crossfire of a gang war.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

So lets just bring Guantanamo Bay prisoners to NYC.For those that wan them here... learn what the phrase 'enemy combatants' means. Study the law, study the Constitution.

mpineiro said...

Unfortunately, as much as this sucks, this most likely is a rare attempt at the city trying to uphold the constitution; the sixth amendment specifically.

The tragedy here is the inefficiency of the city at meeting its own constraints, not the rule itself.

Anonymous said...

And why the heck does anyone wants to live in the city? I don't get it.