ALBANY – State Senator Daniel Squadron released the following statement on the Assembly’s inclusion of ‘Kalief's Law’ (S.1998A-Squadron/Aubry), to fix New York's broken speedy trial law in their one-house budget:
"The right to a speedy trial is guaranteed by the Constitution, but far too often the state fails to meet that obligation. That's unacceptable. We can fix it with Kalief’s Law, which passed the Assembly unanimously and is included in its one-house budget proposal.
"Kalief Browder, for whom 'Kalief's Law' is named, was a young man broken by a system that failed him for years. The system's failures against Kalief have become a national beacon of the glaring need for criminal justice reform. However, in New York, the speedy trial process that failed Kalief is unchanged. How many others like Kalief are waiting in a state of trial purgatory, while Albany fails to act?
"The Assembly has yet again recognized the urgency of fixing our state's broken speedy trial law. The Governor included speedy trial reform in his State of the State, and the Senate Democratic Conference supports reform in the budget. Yet again, the Senate Majority remains silent and stands in the way of basic rights for New Yorkers. I urge the Senate Majority to include speedy trial reform in the final budget."
Kalief’s Law would fix the state’s broken 1972 “ready rule,” which allows trials to be delayed indefinitely by tying mandated speedy trial deadlines to trial “readiness.” Squadron filed a Motion for Committee Consideration to force a committee vote on Kalief's Law within 45 days. The Assembly passed Kalief’s Law for the second time, this time unanimously, earlier this session. Last year, the Senate Majority used a disingenuous interpretation of their own rules to deny a vote on the measure. Squadron introduced the measure following Kalief Browder’s suicide and has previously written about the measure in the Daily News and New York Times, and to the New York City Council.