New York City has opened a special court in Brooklyn to handle all felony gun possession cases from the five neighborhoods in the borough with the heaviest concentration of shootings in the city. The court, which opened April 28, is intended to consolidate and speed gun cases in a violent stretch that accounted for 56 percent of all shootings in the borough last year, the New York Times reports.
New rules will require the cases to be disposed of within four months – two months faster than the current standard. Until last week, those cases were handled by hundreds of different prosecutors and dozens of judges, he added.
The new court grew out of Operation Spotlight, a law enforcement effort begun last year to focus on small groups of offenders who commit a disproportionate number of crimes. It is expected to handle 400 cases a year. Eventually, similar gun courts are expected to open in other boroughs.
The new court follows other specialized courts created in New York City over the past decade, including probation violation courts established in February in Brooklyn and the Bronx.