Bronx DA Darcel Clark has put politics ahead of principle




Boy, was quick reversal by Bronx DA Darcel Clark: Every week after speaking of going to the US Supreme Courtroom to overturn a loopy ruling by New York’s prime courtroom, she dropped that concept and as a substitute proposed an excellent crazier “answer.”

The state Courtroom of Appeals created a brand new proper for class-B misdemeanor defendants who aren’t US residents: In contrast to everybody else, they will now demand a jury trial — as a result of they may face deportation if convicted.

Since jury trials take longer, it is a assured court-clogger, as Clark warned. It additionally provides this particular class of defendants further leverage in plea-bargaining.

At first, Clark was outraged, noting that the ruling conflicts with precedent and has the felony courts making an attempt to guess the result of deportation circumstances.

However it appears the politically right crowd received to her: She has deserted speak of enchantment, arguing as a substitute that the Legislature ought to grant the identical jury-trial proper to everybody dealing with class-B misdemeanor fees.

Huh? That may clog the courts much more — doubtlessly denying numerous individuals their proper to a speedy trial, or forcing prosecutors to be much more beneficiant in plea-bargaining.

With state assist, Bronx courts solely lately resolved an enormous backlog that had hundreds of misdemeanor circumstances pending for over a 12 months. The Courtroom of Appeals ruling endangers that progress, and threatens comparable issues throughout the state — and Clark’s answer would guarantee nightmares.

So why did Clark flip? Probably, her political advisers yanked her strings. In spite of everything, she solely grew to become DA because of the Bronx Democratic machine, which engineered the timing of then-DA Robert Johnson’s departure to keep away from an open main again in 2015.

Plainly she feared a main problem subsequent 12 months from a pro-immigrant-rights candidate. Much better to desert precept than put her job in danger.




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