Op-ed column: State needs better system of legal aid for poor
Sunday, April 19, 2009
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On any given day in New York state’s criminal courts, the forlorn line of those arrested — for burglary, robbery, car theft, domestic battery and most often, for illegal drug use and/or sale — shuffles in its chains into the courtroom for a bond hearing. Those fortunate enough to afford the 10 percent deposit on their bail, or have no previous felony convictions or violations of parole, will most likely be given a future court date and allowed to leave....