ALBANY – State Senator Daniel Squadron released the following statement on the Assembly's bipartisan passage of ‘Kalief's Law,’ (S5988A-Squadron/A8296A-Aubry) to reform New York's broken speedy trial law:
“For too long, the constitutionally-guaranteed right to a speedy trial has been denied in New York. Our broken Rockefeller-era law does nothing to guarantee a speedy trial for the accused. In fact, it does the exact opposite, protecting a system that too often delays justice at the cost of defendants, victims and the taxpayers.
“‘Kalief's Law’ is named for Kalief Browder, a young man accused of stealing a backpack, who spent over 1,000 days in pre-trial detention at Riker’s, approximately 700 days in solitary confinement, before his case was dismissed. His experience, and the experience of so many others, is an affront to the to the presumption of innocence.
“I filed a Motion for Committee Consideration to force a Senate Codes Committee vote on ‘Kalief's Law,’ but the Senate Majority has disregarded its own rules, and refused to schedule a vote on this bill, along with other critical issues.
“Now, with the Assembly’s passage of ‘Kalief’s Law,’ the Senate Republican Majority has 8 days left to do right for justice and the Constitution.
“I thank Assemblymember Aubry, his Assembly colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and my 25 Senate colleagues who co-sponsor ‘Kalief’s Law.’”
S5988A/A8296A (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 introduced the measure following Kalief Browder’s suicide last June. Squadron has previously written about the measure in the Daily News and New York Times, and to the New York City Council.