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Submitted 3:13 p.m.
01.29.2015
Letter to the Editor

Mr. Horn, however, showed...naïveté when he included defense attorneys among those who have no incentive to 'expedite the disposition of criminal cases in the courts.'”

Renate Lunn of Brooklyn, NY

As a public defender, I appreciate Mr. Horn's observation that there are too many people incarcerated for non-violent offenses and those that are incarcerated are disproportionately poor.

Mr. Horn, however, showed serious disrespect towards defense counsel or, at least demonstrated naïveté when he included defense attorneys among those who have no incentive to "expedite the disposition of criminal cases in the courts." In fact it is our professional and ethical obligation to act in the best interest of our clients. It is very rarely in anyone's interest to spend one minute longer on Riker's Island than absolutely necessary. I and my colleagues at the Legal Aid Society fight vigorously in court every day to reach favorable dispositions and when that is not possible, enforce our clients' constitutional right to a speedy trial.

 
This letter written in response to
Commentary June 9, 2015
Former corrections chief Martin Horn has some ideas for Rikers Island.