Extensive budget cutbacks in New York State's courts are expected to add new delays to practically every facet of the judicial process, from the moment a suspect is brought in to be charged until the case is heard in court, and onward into appeals, reports the New York Times. The hours of weekend arraignment courts in New York City will be reduced by nearly half, prompting fears that some suspects will have to be released if they are not brought before a judge within 24 hours, as required by law.
“Delays are going to be more built into everything we do, unfortunately,” said the state's chief administrative judge, Ann Pfau. The National Center for State Courts says 29 state court systems are experiencing budget reductions this year, with at least five — Georgia, Maine, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Oregon — seeing reductions of 10 percent or more. At least 15 states have reduced the hours their courts operate.