Legendary NY District Attorney calls the way we treat immigrants "a national disgrace"

From Restore Fairness blog

90 year old Robert Morgenthau, New York's legendary District Attorney for 35 years is recently retired, and has already dived into his new role at law firm Wachtall, Lipton, Rosen and Katz where he has committed to fighting for the rights of all immigrants in the United States.

Considered the inspiration for Law & Order, New York's highest prosecuting office was presided over by Morgenthau, and was responsible for tens of  thousands of cases, including many high-profile trials. That's why, when he speaks of the need to ensure the basic constitutional rights of every single person, particularly those at the margins, we need to pay attention.

In an interview with WNYC, Morganthau did not mince words on expressing his views on the current system.

Brian Lehrer: You've also been thinking about immigration law and the interface between criminal courts and immigration courts and immigration detention. This is something you said you were going to work on after your retirement and now you are. What have you been thinking about?

Robert Morgenthau: I think, the way we treat immigrants is a national disgrace and I’m ashamed of what we do. I think anybody who’s here in the United States, legal or illegal, is entitled to the full protection of the law and they’re not getting that. I set up an immigration program in the D.A.’s office and I publicly announced, over half a dozen times, that we would turn nobody over to the Federal authorities, as long as they continued to deprive these undocumented immigrants of their constitutional rights. And it’s a very, very serious problem, and again its a stain on our reputation. There are 2 problems one is the problems with laws themselves, and second is the way they are applied.

Morgenthau also spoke passionately about the need for a fair trial, whether in relation to the trial of 9/11 suspect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, or to a “friend of the court” brief by the Brennan Center for Justice he recently signed backed by 62 prosecutors who are calling for more funding for indigent defendants. While this particularly applies to the criminal justice system, it is also an acute problem with the immigration system. More than half of of the people in deportation proceedings and 84% of people in detention do not have representation.

Brian Lehrer: Why is a prosecutor arguing for more defense attorneys?

Robert Morgenthau: As a prosecutor, I always slept better at night if i knew the defendant was well represented. I mean, our criminal justice system is an adversary system but for it to work you've got to have competent lawyers on both sides of the table... it's critical to our system of justice.

When those fully immersed in the legal system speak out on the injustice of immigration law, we need to pay attention.

Photo courtesy of www.nytimes.com

Learn. Share. Act. http://www.restorefairness.org

Legendary NY District Attorney calls the way we treat immigrants "a national disgrace"

From Restore Fairness blog

90 year old Robert Morgenthau, New York's legendary District Attorney for 35 years is recently retired, and has already dived into his new role at law firm Wachtall, Lipton, Rosen and Katz where he has committed to fighting for the rights of all immigrants in the United States.

Considered the inspiration for Law & Order, New York's highest prosecuting office was presided over by Morgenthau, and was responsible for tens of  thousands of cases, including many high-profile trials. That's why, when he speaks of the need to ensure the basic constitutional rights of every single person, particularly those at the margins, we need to pay attention.

In an interview with WNYC, Morganthau did not mince words on expressing his views on the current system.

Brian Lehrer: You've also been thinking about immigration law and the interface between criminal courts and immigration courts and immigration detention. This is something you said you were going to work on after your retirement and now you are. What have you been thinking about?

Robert Morgenthau: I think, the way we treat immigrants is a national disgrace and I’m ashamed of what we do. I think anybody who’s here in the United States, legal or illegal, is entitled to the full protection of the law and they’re not getting that. I set up an immigration program in the D.A.’s office and I publicly announced, over half a dozen times, that we would turn nobody over to the Federal authorities, as long as they continued to deprive these undocumented immigrants of their constitutional rights. And it’s a very, very serious problem, and again its a stain on our reputation. There are 2 problems one is the problems with laws themselves, and second is the way they are applied.

Morgenthau also spoke passionately about the need for a fair trial, whether in relation to the trial of 9/11 suspect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, or to a “friend of the court” brief by the Brennan Center for Justice he recently signed backed by 62 prosecutors who are calling for more funding for indigent defendants. While this particularly applies to the criminal justice system, it is also an acute problem with the immigration system. More than half of of the people in deportation proceedings and 84% of people in detention do not have representation.

Brian Lehrer: Why is a prosecutor arguing for more defense attorneys?

Robert Morgenthau: As a prosecutor, I always slept better at night if i knew the defendant was well represented. I mean, our criminal justice system is an adversary system but for it to work you've got to have competent lawyers on both sides of the table... it's critical to our system of justice.

When those fully immersed in the legal system speak out on the injustice of immigration law, we need to pay attention.

Photo courtesy of www.nytimes.com

Learn. Share. Act. http://www.restorefairness.org

Legendary NY District Attorney calls the way we treat immigrants "a national disgrace"

From Restore Fairness blog

90 year old Robert Morgenthau, New York's legendary District Attorney for 35 years is recently retired, and has already dived into his new role at law firm Wachtall, Lipton, Rosen and Katz where he has committed to fighting for the rights of all immigrants in the United States.

Considered the inspiration for Law & Order, New York's highest prosecuting office was presided over by Morgenthau, and was responsible for tens of  thousands of cases, including many high-profile trials. That's why, when he speaks of the need to ensure the basic constitutional rights of every single person, particularly those at the margins, we need to pay attention.

In an interview with WNYC, Morganthau did not mince words on expressing his views on the current system.

Brian Lehrer: You've also been thinking about immigration law and the interface between criminal courts and immigration courts and immigration detention. This is something you said you were going to work on after your retirement and now you are. What have you been thinking about?

Robert Morgenthau: I think, the way we treat immigrants is a national disgrace and I’m ashamed of what we do. I think anybody who’s here in the United States, legal or illegal, is entitled to the full protection of the law and they’re not getting that. I set up an immigration program in the D.A.’s office and I publicly announced, over half a dozen times, that we would turn nobody over to the Federal authorities, as long as they continued to deprive these undocumented immigrants of their constitutional rights. And it’s a very, very serious problem, and again its a stain on our reputation. There are 2 problems one is the problems with laws themselves, and second is the way they are applied.

Morgenthau also spoke passionately about the need for a fair trial, whether in relation to the trial of 9/11 suspect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, or to a “friend of the court” brief by the Brennan Center for Justice he recently signed backed by 62 prosecutors who are calling for more funding for indigent defendants. While this particularly applies to the criminal justice system, it is also an acute problem with the immigration system. More than half of of the people in deportation proceedings and 84% of people in detention do not have representation.

Brian Lehrer: Why is a prosecutor arguing for more defense attorneys?

Robert Morgenthau: As a prosecutor, I always slept better at night if i knew the defendant was well represented. I mean, our criminal justice system is an adversary system but for it to work you've got to have competent lawyers on both sides of the table... it's critical to our system of justice.

When those fully immersed in the legal system speak out on the injustice of immigration law, we need to pay attention.

Photo courtesy of www.nytimes.com

Learn. Share. Act. http://www.restorefairness.org

Prosecutors Must Seek Justice, Not Merely Convictions

As advocates of justice, prosecutors play a unique and powerful role in our justice system. Yet too often, prosecutors fall prey to a pervasive “convict at all costs” culture, and neglect their ethical duty to protect the innocent and guard the rights of the accused. The recent actions of Santa Clara District Attorney Dolores Carr demonstrate this troubling culture. Carr has directed her office to boycott the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Andrea Bryan, who barred the retrial of a case overturned due to Santa Clara prosecutor Troy Benson’s prosecutorial misconduct. The finding of misconduct against Troy Benson presents an opportunity for Santa Clara prosecutors to examine what may have led to Benson’s misconduct, and take steps to ensure abuses of power do not take place again in the future. However, instead of addressing her colleague’s misconduct, which Judge Bryan called “grossly shocking,” Carr is calling for open criticism of the judge responsible for upholding her constitutional obligation to reverse convictions prejudiced by egregious prosecutorial misconduct.

There's more...

Prosecutors Must Seek Justice, Not Merely Convictions

As advocates of justice, prosecutors play a unique and powerful role in our justice system. Yet too often, prosecutors fall prey to a pervasive “convict at all costs” culture, and neglect their ethical duty to protect the innocent and guard the rights of the accused. The recent actions of Santa Clara District Attorney Dolores Carr demonstrate this troubling culture. Carr has directed her office to boycott the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Andrea Bryan, who barred the retrial of a case overturned due to Santa Clara prosecutor Troy Benson’s prosecutorial misconduct. The finding of misconduct against Troy Benson presents an opportunity for Santa Clara prosecutors to examine what may have led to Benson’s misconduct, and take steps to ensure abuses of power do not take place again in the future. However, instead of addressing her colleague’s misconduct, which Judge Bryan called “grossly shocking,” Carr is calling for open criticism of the judge responsible for upholding her constitutional obligation to reverse convictions prejudiced by egregious prosecutorial misconduct.

There's more...

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