March 7, 2013
In his letter to the editor in the New York Law Journal, Scott Spivak (’13) examines the role of prosecutors in bail reform, in light of Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s proposal to overhaul New York’s bail statute. Spivak notes that it is the prosecutor who often dictates pretrial justice, but “current practices distort the statutory purpose of bail at the expense of the indigent accused.”
“Until we reform New York’s money bail system, all participants, but especially the prosecutor, must help minimize unnecessary pretrial incarceration,” Spivak writes. “Money bail, for its part, continues to undermine justice and due process, keeping thousands of indigent defendants in jail for no reason other than poverty.”
Spivak is a third-year student in the Law School’s Criminal Defense Clinic.