Don't Attack Lawyers Who Defend Criminals, USA Today, Oct. 12, 2016
Solitary Confinement Ends for 21 and Under in New York City Jail System, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 11, 2016
Why ‘Public Defender’ Has Become an Oxymoron, Philadelphia Citizen, Oct. 10, 2016
Another Voice: State Should Be Paying for the Costs of Public Defense, Buffalo News, Oct. 8, 2016
Getting a Free Onondaga Co. Criminal Lawyer Is Now Much Easier for Thousands, Syracuse.com, Oct. 5, 2016
Judge Sets Limits on Suffolk’s Jailing of Traffic Law Violators, Newsday, Sept. 28, 2016
ASSOCIATION UPDATESGovernor Cuomo Urged to Sign Legislation for Public Defense Reform and Mandate Relief. Two legislators recently co-authored a Times Union op-ed supporting their bipartisan legislation requiring the State to reimburse counties for public defense services costs; the bill has yet to go to the Governor. The legislators, Assemblymember Patricia Fahy and Senator John A. DeFrancisco, received NYSDA's 2016 Service of Justice Award for the reform measure, along with Stephen Button, County Attorney and former Public Defender in St. Lawrence County, who has worked hard for the bill's passage. His county legislature recently passed a resolution calling on the Governor to sign the bill, and counties, editorial boards, and organizations across the state continue to support it. NYSDA has advocated for the legislation since its inception, including in testimony during State budget hearings and a news release lauding its passage.
Public Defense Lawyers Recognized for Achievements, Passion for Justice. For her tireless work helping ensure that immigration consequences for clients are addressed in public defense cases across the state, Joanne Macri received NYSDA's Wilfred R. O'Connor Award. Macri is currently Director of Regional Initiatives for the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services; she was lauded for her excellent and passionate work in a variety of settings, from direct client representation and assisting other attorneys to training and policy development.
Along with the awards above, also presented at this year's Annual Conference was the Kevin M. Andersen Award; it recognizes public defense attorneys who exemplify the sense of justice, determination, and compassion that were the hallmarks of its late namesake from the Genesee County Public Defender Office. The 2016 award went to Scott Levy, Director of The Bronx Defenders Fundamental Fairness Project.