NYC - Mayor Plans More Courts To Address Gun 'Menace'


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Mark Tyson
December 18, 2003, 08:11 AM
Copyright 2003 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC
All Rights Reserved

The New York Sun

December 17, 2003 Wednesday

NEW YORK; Pg. 3

517 words

Mayor Plans More Courts To Address Gun 'Menace'

By DIN A TEMPLE - RASTON Staff Reporter of the Sun

Mayor Bloomberg announced plans yesterday to dramatically increase the number of special courts handling felony gun possessions in the city in an attempt to further reduce the crime rate.

Mr. Bloomberg said he plans to have the courts cover 35 precincts in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens by January, up from just five precincts in Brooklyn.

"People who carry illegal guns are a menace," said Mr. Bloomberg as he announced the expansion at City Hall yesterday. "Gun courts give gun crime the attention it deserves by focusing our best police, prosecutorial, and judicial resources on these critical cases."

The Brooklyn gun court, on which this program is based, began hear ing cases in April.

The courts were conceived out of a need to better focus the efforts of judges and prosecutors to cut down on gun crimes that were falling through the judicial cracks. The gun court essentially turns legal officials into specialists. It is set up with a single judge and three prosecutors handling all the cases from arraignment to trial.

"This is all about efficient case management," said the state's chief administrative judge, Jonathan Lippman. "These cases were getting mixed into the regular system and they didn't get the focus they deserved," he said.

That lack of focus meant that half the defendants in gun cases brought before judges in New York were walking away with minimal or no jail time. While there are sentencing guidelines - if you carry a gun there is supposed to be a minimum of a year of jail time - there was enough wiggle room in the law to allow exceptions. The theory behind the gun courts is that greater consistency in application of the law will make for a safer New York City.

"When criminals are afraid to carry guns the rate of violent crimes falls significantly," said the Queens district attorney, Richard Brown. "But unless those arrested are vigorously prosecuted the law is meaningless."

Specialized courts appear to be the wave of the future, and Mr. Bloomberg didn't rule out using similar courts to focus on other crime problems like rape and domestic violence. New York has established probation-violation courts in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

To hear administration officials tell it, the new court is not supposed to mete out heavier or lighter sentences for gun offenders. The idea is consistency.

The decision to broaden the special court system comes at a time when New York City is enjoying its lowest crime rate in a generation. Its overall crime rate in the first six months of the year was down 7.4%, putting it at the top of the FBI's safest big city list. The city's violent crime was down 3.3% from last year and property crimes were down 8.7% over the same period.

In a sign that the focus on gun violence is yielding results, the city is on track to record its lowest yearly murder rate in 40 years. There have been about 550 murders this year, compared to 590 in all of last year. The last time the city had fewer than 600 murders, save last year, was in 1963.

The nation's first gun court was established in Providence, R.I., in 1994.
December 17, 2003

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Sportcat
December 18, 2003, 08:47 AM
"People who carry illegal guns are a menace,"

Maybe that should read: "People who illegaly carry guns are a menace?"

Just my $.02

TarpleyG
December 18, 2003, 09:28 AM
Agreed Sportcat. Also, why do they need more courts and specialized ones at that. A felony's a felony. No two ways about it when viewed in the eye's of the court. This just bring unnecessary attention to those 'evil guns.'

GT

Ky Larry
December 18, 2003, 10:12 AM
Sounds like more political grandstanding by a group of political whores. Instead of focusing peoples attention on criminals, they want to focus on the "evil" guns. When will we ever learn? As someone says on this forum," Blaming crime on guns is like blaming Rosie O'Doughnuts fat a** on forks.:barf:

Langenator
December 18, 2003, 10:53 AM
"When criminals are afraid to carry guns the rate of violent crimes falls significantly,"

And when law-abiding citizens are afraid to carry guns (actually, when they're banned from doing so), criminals are emboldened.

Message to Mayor Mike: Guns cause crime like flies cause garbage.

outfieldjack
December 18, 2003, 10:56 AM
Maybe "People who USE guns ilegally are a menace"

Jack

Standing Wolf
December 18, 2003, 09:55 PM
Never—ever—trust a R.I.N.O.

Bill Hook
December 18, 2003, 11:21 PM
"When criminals are afraid to carry guns the rate of violent crimes falls significantly,"

Criminals must be saying: "I'm afraid to carry a gun, but I feel safe committing rape, armed robbery or murder, since those crimes aren't prosecuted in "special" courts." :rolleyes:

NukemJim
December 19, 2003, 08:14 AM
Also, why do they need more courts and specialized ones at that. A felony's a felony.

Not if they want to make the punishment harsher for those"mean, evil, nasty, criminals who endager the children" who are sentanced. It will most likely also reduce the number of plea bargins and other deals plus it would give them additonal leverage in getting defendants to "roll" in the deals that did take place.

Yes I did read the article. I do not believe "the officals" in the following.

To hear administration officials tell it, the new court is not supposed to mete out heavier or lighter sentences for gun offenders.

If for no other reason than

That lack of focus meant that half the defendants in gun cases brought before judges in New York were walking away with minimal or no jail time.

Either the above oy you would have to make the assumption the rest of the judicial system in NYC is not working :rolleyes: A rather difficult assumption seeings how the crime rate is dropping.

NukemJim

:rolleyes:

whoami
December 19, 2003, 10:10 AM
"This is all about efficient case management," said the state's chief administrative judge, Jonathan Lippman. "These cases were getting mixed into the regular system and they didn't get the focus they deserved," he said.

"When criminals are afraid to carry guns the rate of violent crimes falls significantly," said the Queens district attorney, Richard Brown. "But unless those arrested are vigorously prosecuted the law is meaningless."

And when that doesn't work....will you put them in a corner and take away their recess privelages?

Like a change in venue is going to scare the criminals?

t-stox
December 19, 2003, 12:45 PM
I have to tell you that illegal gun possession in NYC means basically ANYONE whos not LEO and is in possession of ANY guns! in other words you own a .22 short pump action and it's not registered? Guilty! Registration is the key! They require it of ALL guns. And it's almost impossable to get. Especally for "ASSAULT" rifles, Handguns, etc. though I hear that for "sporting" shotguns it's not that hard. Just a photo , fingerprint, Registration of the weapon, Deep backround by police and the descretion of the issuing officer plus tons of fees. see, not hard at all!? They don't even allow you to transport through NYC certain weapons. Suppose your driving from Texas with a handgun to Vermont (another Gun friendly state) and happen to go through I-95 Interstate and get pulled over by Troopers and you volutarily tell them about your gun. Biongo! right off to jail with you! If you don't think gun laws can ever really deprive you of the RKBA because of the second amendment just look to NYC, Washington DC etc. to see that they legally can!

ksnecktieman
December 19, 2003, 07:53 PM
In the last forty years they have had 600 murders a year, and they think a change of this size is statistically valid?

In a sign that the focus on gun violence is yielding results, the city is on track to record its lowest yearly murder rate in 40 years. There have been about 550 murders this year, compared to 590 in all of last year. The last time the city had fewer than 600 murders, save last year, was in 1963.

DANGER , LOOP HOLE ALERT

While there are sentencing guidelines - if you carry a gun there is supposed to be a minimum of a year of jail time - there was enough wiggle room in the law to allow exceptions.

And they let violent criminals out of jail early because the jails are full :banghead:

twoblink
December 19, 2003, 09:14 PM
Of course I will again drone in with "Plastic bags, swimming pools, bike accidents, 5 gallon buckets etc.." kill more kids than guns.

Most people that get shot are gangsters. DC statistically has the highest crime and it's got the toughest gun laws, while Vermont has considerably lower crime and it's got one of the loosest gun laws in the union..

So...

Let's talk about a "REAL" gun Menace.. When the model you want is no longer produced or your state won't allow it...

:cuss: :banghead:

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