In NYC’s Bronx Courts, Defendants Commit Crime As They Wait for Justice


In New York City’s Bronx borough, home to one of the nation's most implacable backlog of felony cases, people charged with even low-level felonies sometimes wait so long to go to trial that they commit more e serious offenses while they wait to face justice for the previous charges, the New York Times reports. Some suspects are released repeatedly as they graduate from burglary to violent robbery to attempted murder, crimes that they would not have been free to commit were it not for court delays.

It’s partially a consequence of the mounting judicial delays that have accompanied shrinking court budgets. A 2007 national U.S. Justice Department study found that of those waiting a year for the resolution of their cases, 17 percent were arrested on new charges, including 11 percent for felonies. In the Bronx, a Times review of felony cases opened in 2008 found 150 that were still open at the end of 2012. Of those, nearly 20 percent of the defendants had been arrested on new felony charges while on release.

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