age old questions
Gov. Andrew Cuomo today backed a push to raise the minimum age at which teens can be tried and charged as adults—one of a host of initiatives rolled out in the last State of the State address of his first term.
“Our juvenile justice laws are outdated,” said the governor in his speech, pointing to rules that allow 16- and 17-year-olds to be tried and charged as adults in New York.
Though he was reportedly expected to plead guilty to federal corruption charges today, Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. instead pleaded not guilty, setting up a trial date for December or possibly January.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg railed against the court system Friday, blaming lawsuits for railroading his agenda in his final term.
“We’ve got to do something about our court system. Because they just stop everything,” Mr. Bloomberg lamented during his weekly radio interview Friday morning with WOR’s John Gambling.
Mr. Gambling chimed in in agreement: “Everything gets stopped–everything the city does.”
The Neverending Story
The infamous incident where Mitt Romney put his dog in a crate tied to the roof his station wagon during a family road trip in 1983 made a surprise appearance in an Oregon courtroom last week. A defense attorney representing one of two men who was charged with animal abuse after they dragged a pitbull behind a car for several hundred feet after tying the dog to the outside of the vehicle and forgetting to let it back in before driving off invoked Mr. Romney’s story to argue everyone makes mistakes sometimes.
“Our presidential candidate tied up a dog and drove off with him for quite a while,” the lawyer, Lisa Pardini, said.
Law & Order
Six days after election day and a premature declaration of victory for Rep. Charlie Rangel, there is still no official winner in the Upper Manhattan congressional race between Mr. Rangel and State Senator Adriano Espaillat. This afternoon, lawyers for both candidates are headed to New York State Supreme Court to address issues with the Board of Elections’ tabulation of the results in their congressional race and alleged instances of “irregular and possibly fraudulent returns from voting machines.” Mr. Rangel prepared for the legal battle by sending an email to his supporters saying he’s “completely baffled” by the situation and asking for donations to help him in the court fight.
“To my surprise, my opponent’s campaign pounced on me on Friday, saying that I had somehow stolen their votes! I’m completely baffled by the situation and the way my opponent has been reacting,” Mr. Rangel wrote. “I don’t know what will transpire in the coming days, but one thing is clear: I need your help to prepare myself for another battle — whether it’s a legal battle with the Board of Elections or with my opponent.”
Law & Order
A coalition of Occupy Wall Street protesters and attorneys for civil rights organizations filed a Freedom of Information Law requesttoday asking the NYPD to reveal “all information concerning the policies guiding the law enforcement response to Occupy demonstrations since last September.” The FOIL request is part of efforts to investigate the government response to Read More
Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was arrested and charged with Obstructing Governmental Administration and Resisting Arrest during the NYPD’s eviction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park November 15. This morning those charges were dismissed in Manhattan Criminal Court. Though the district attorney’s office claimed they “determined that the officers who were involved in Read More
At the end of last week, lawyers representing the two candidates in the special election to replace Carl Kruger in the State Senate agreed to a court proceeding to resolve which candidate ultimately received more votes. Republican candidate David Storobin is currently leading by a single vote, but Democrat Lew Fidler is feeling confident.
The judge has appointed two “Special Referees” to hear ballot objections made by both sides on the contested absentee votes (i.e. one campaign may believe signature similarity on certain ballots indicates the votes were fraudulent).
The wide of embattled former State Senator Pedro Espada is seeking some divine intervention in the trial of her husband and son. Yesterday, as one of Mr. Espada’s former employees took the stand and testified against him, his wife, Connie, posted a prayer request on her Facebook page.
“Lord pls pray us & pls keep all my enemies away, let them not be able 2 bring us harm Amen,” she wrote.
This afternoon, the Republicans controlling the New York State Senate filed their formal objection to the congressional redistricting plan currently being considered by a three-judge panel, and their arguments directly centered on the need for incumbency protection measures for Republican Representatives.
“Professor Persily generally dismisses the Senate Majority Defendants’ (and other parties’) concerns about ‘respecting the cores of prior districts,’ insisting such claims are merely ‘pretextual arguments for protecting incumbents,’ they wrote in their letter. “As a threshold matter, incumbency protection is a traditional redistricting principle, as Professor Persily himself has previously recognized.”
The letter further argued against placing incumbents politicians in the same districts if at all possible.
“[A]voiding incumbency pairings actually enhances the reality and appearance of judicial impartiality,” they wrote, again contending protecting sitting Representatives should be more highly prioritized in the process.