In Defense of Judge Freier

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  • #1607709

    Avi K
    Participant

    Articles written in the YWN regarding the bail set for Farrukh Afzal indicate that the writer is under the impression that a judge may set whatever bail (s)he pleases. The fact of the matter is that bail amounts in NY are set by a schedule which. The seriousness of the charge is a factor as is the likelihood of the accused showing up for his court appearance. In fact, the hole point is to make it more worth his while to show up. Afzal was initially only charged with misdemeanors. Thus $15K is, in fact, a high amount, especially considering the facts that he has a steady job and family in NYC and is not a person of means. According to veteran New York City criminal defense lawyer James Shalley bail above $5K in such cases is extremely rare.

    The writer of the article must obtain forgiveness from Judge Freier and resolve to refrain from yellow journalism in the future.

    #1607717

    Joseph
    Participant

    Bail was set at less than half of what the prosecutor requested, according to the article.

    #1607728

    Avi K
    Participant

    It is standard to ask for much more than you really want and much less than you are willing to give. The prosecutors should have charged him with a hate crime in the beginning. That would have made it the charges felonies and bail would have been much higher.

    #1607754

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    So because $15k is a high amount according to the too low charges brought, she was right?

    It was quite obviously a hate crime, and she should have granted what the prosecutor asked for.

    #1607788

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    She can’t set the bail based on something he isn’t charged with. You guys are responding to this with emotionalism.

    From the beginning it was clear that YWN had no understanding of the judicial process and just wanted to bully her with their usual laissez faire approach to moderation on any article relating to her. You expect her to weigh in and call it a vicious hate-crime before the trial has started? Do you really not realize that judges can’t do stuff like that?

    #1607790

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    No, but she can set it at the maximum for what he is charged with.

    #1607829

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    10 years ago we chastised another judge for setting a $1,000,000 bail on a member of our community for a first offense and well over the amount wanted by the DA. A person who has been arrested 8 times previously and was filmed beating a another human being (for no reason) should have had a higher bail set. Judge Freier (IMO) was afraid that she would have been questioned as she is from the same community as the victim.

    #1607908

    Avi K
    Participant

    Iacisrmma,
    1. What was the charge in the $1m bail case and what was his economic status?
    2. Why do you insiste on judging her unfavorably? Why don’t you complain about the prosecutors only charging him with misdemeanors? They could easily have charged him with second degree assault rather than third degree and ratched it up to a Class D felony (2-7 years), which would also have meant a much higher bail.

    #1607965

    GAON
    Participant

    Agreed. The most she could have settled is $30k. Asides that I don’t really see the major diff, she can not and should not be influenced based on the emotions of the community.At this point, the case can only be judged based on the prosecution.

    As for the case, she should not be sitting on that case.

    #1607995

    Avi K
    Participant

    G, really she should not be in Criminal Court at all. She has no prior experience in criminal law and was elected to the Civil Court. However, in NYC a judge can be transferred between Civil and Criminal courts and even from one borough to another depending on personnel needs. However, being that she is now in Criminal Court there is no reason why she should not be the trial judge. However, now that it has been designated a hate crime it will probably be tried in the Supreme Court.

    #1608000

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Essentially what I’m hearing is that people’s expectation was that she would be unabashedly biased towards whatever emotionalist cause the Jewish community had on its agenda at a given time. When she actually did her job as a normal judge, it disappointed those people.

    We would all love to see this criminal suffer. A lot of us wouldn’t mind seeing him dead either, but what kind of system would it be if judges had to take that kind of sentiment into even the most minor decisions like setting bail?

    #1608002

    philosopher
    Participant

    The fact that she changed the $30,000 recommended bail to $15,000 sends a terrible message to the terrorist and the world at large that we don’t care so much about our own brothers and sisters.

    #1608008

    Toi
    Participant

    She knows law, y’all don’t.

    #1608042

    Joseph
    Participant

    Toi: She does not know criminal law. She’s barely gotten her feet wet. She was a civil lawyer and she was elected to a civil judgeship. Her being assigned to criminal court was only after the fact, when they were short criminal judges.

    #1608033

    Health
    Participant

    DY -“It was quite obviously a hate crime, and she should have granted what the prosecutor asked for.”

    She can’t judge her decision on that; only what the prosecutor asks for! They always ask way too much.

    #1608035

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Avi K: A 19 year old with a clean record was charged with attempted kidnapping. His family was without means. His original bail was $100,000 and at that point had not missed any of his court appearances (one of the reasons for bail in the first place). The prosecutor asked for the bail to remain at the $100,000 and the judge upped it to $1,000,000.

    BTW, Supreme Court in NYS is Criminal Court.

    The original charges had a hate crime and it was dropped. Please don’t tell me a person with 8 prior arrests should be treated leniently even if only charged with misdemeanors for his current arrest.

    #1608054

    Health
    Participant

    iacisrmma -“please don’t tell me a person with 8 prior arrests should be treated leniently even if only charged with misdemeanors for his current arrest.”

    You’re right; but this has to change in the legislator, Not in the Court system!

    #1608060

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    The gross ignorance here of the bail and pre-trial detention rules is beyond belief. A few posters have tried to make clear what the limits of the Judge’s discretion were but apparently emotion governs. Many states are eliminating bail entirely for lower-level offenses where the person charged claims poverty. The Judge had zero obligation to take account of a “hate crime” not charged where the victim just happened to be a yid and she correctly called it as the rules require.

    #1608079

    Joseph
    Participant

    Ruchy Freier absolutely had the discretion in this case to have ordered a significantly higher bail.

    She declined to use her discretion to do so.

    #1608100

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    I am amazed at the vitriol being slung and the lack of knowledge in these posts.

    #1 Just because a judge had a civil practice as an attorney doesn’t mean she doesn’t know criminal law. The Bar exam tests criminal law and she passed.
    #2 The prosecutor is not a Judicial Branch employee, they ask for high bail. That is a request, it is NOT a bail recommendation. Some courts have employees who examine the defendant’s record and make recommendations to the judge.
    #3 Not only does the judge have to answer to the voters, come re-election time (I think electing judges is absurd, we don’t do it in CT except for Probate), the judge has to answer to the chief judge in her district. The Chief judge may have set guidelines for bail amounts or even sent a message regarding this case. Too much variance from the wishes of the Chief Judge can lead to sanctions.

    Judicial Discretion is limited by her superiors

    #1608215

    philosopher
    Participant

    CTLawyer, what part of the fact that she asked for less than the recommended bail is not understood? And I’m not familiar with the law but I’ve heard of judges setting outrageous bail amounts for lesser offenses and for not particularly well off individuals. That would indicate to me that bail is set according the the judge’s discretion.

    #1608237

    Avi K
    Participant

    Iacisrmma, you obviously have no clue regarding the NYC court system. Except in the Bronx, where the two were merged on the criminal side because of a huge backlog, Criminal/Civil court is separate from Supreme Court Criminal/Civil division. The former handles arraignments and non-felonies (Criminal) or lesser monetary claims (Civil). The latter handles more serious cases. This is in line with Yitro’s advice to Moshe (the latter changed it because din peruta din meah).
    As for the 19 year old, you did not specify exactly what he did and why. Depending on the circumstances it could have even been a Class A-I felony, which is a potential life sentence. Afzal, on the other hand, was originally only charged with misdemeanors.

    CTL,
    1. You are correct that criminal law is covered by the bar exam but it is insufficient. This is why new ADAs get in-house training. Moreover, as the score is for the exam as a whole theoretically someone could fail the criminal law part and still pass the exam.
    3. Both Abarbanel and Rav Hirsch say that the people should at least choose the judges on the Great Sanhedrin but they disagree as to whether they also choose the lower court judges or the Great Sanhedrin appoints them. BTW, while Civil Court judges are elelcted Criminal Court judges are appointed by the Mayor.

    Philosopher, I already posted that prosecutors ask for more than they think is necessary and defense attorneys ask for less. This is SOP in negotiations.

    Mod, why do you allow vicious hotzaat shem ra posted by sickies like Chong and Achdus (obviously his screen name is sagi nahor)?

    #1608311

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @philosopher
    The prosecutor REQUESTED $30K bail. That REQUEST is NOT a bail RECOMMENDATION.
    Bail Recommendations come from court appointed personnel, not members of the DA’s staff.

    #1608324

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    CT: I’m glad someone who actually understands the system got involved, but it won’t do any good.

    If you look at the articles and at moderation patterns, it’s clear that YWN has some agenda against Judge Freier for some reason. You never see these kind of comments let through regarding any other frum community member. We come here for biased reporting, and sometimes the bias is on our side, sometimes it’s not. But, in this case, it seems a little over the line to go so strongly against a non-anonymous individual rather than an institution or school of thought.

    I’m explicitly taking advantage of moderation bias on another thread currently, so it seems hypocritical to criticize it here, but I admit that it’s more personal than principled in this case. I’ve considered leaving YWN over this particular issue, but I’ll always just end up coming back in all likelihood. None of the competitors have forums…

    #1608315

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @AviK
    ADAs get in house training to be prosecuting trial attorneys. They are expected to have a working knowledge of criminal law, and research specifics when needed.

    Law schools do not teach students how to be trial attorneys. That is something learned under the tutelage of experienced mentors after passing the bar and beginning work.
    Most attorneys never do trial work. The English system has two classes of attorneys: solicitors who do most work and Barristers who do trial work.
    I don’t do criminal work as a rule. Anything more than an initial; appearance I help my client find an appropriate attorney who is skilled in the specific area of the law. A DUI lawyer is different form a white collar crime defense attorney.
    This doesn’t mean I couldn’t research the law and defend a client if I had to. Sometimes you can’t get out of a pro bono assignment from the court

    #1608316

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    I do not know the information that Judge Frier has before deciding on bail, however one can wonder if perhaps she was more lenient to try to show that her Chasisdoc background will not be factor. So she decided to give an even lower bail amount, throwing common sense to the wind

    #1608318

    Joseph
    Participant

    The prosecutor did not ask for a bail amount that was above any purported legal or discretionary limit the judge was able to set it at. The amount requested by the prosecutor was within the discretionary ability of Freier to have set.

    Indeed, as mentioned by others here the judge even has the discretionary ability to set bail at a figure *higher* than the prosecutor requests, as an example given above demonstrates.

    #1608366

    philosopher
    Participant

    AviK, so what if prosecutors ask for more bail and defense attorneys for less? How does that make Friere’s decision ok? She should have set higher bail, he was a potential murderer and regardless if the charges bought forth didn’t say he was racist, the facts prove otherwise.

    And as I said before, bail is set at according to judge’s whims and she should have a little decency to set bail higher for attempted murder than a mere $15,000. It shows a remarkable DISREGARD for the lives of Jews

    #1608507

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    ” he was a potential murderer and regardless if the charges bought forth didn’t say he was racist, the facts prove otherwise.”

    Do you realize how absurd this is? You honestly believe judges just set bail at whatever they want by reading media articles about the case? It has to be based on the charges made; I can’t believe you’re having to learn this here.

    The problem is part of a larger issue of intentional under-prosecuting in NYC. This is a well known issue, not a fairy tale. De Blasio’s approach to boasting lower crime rates is to not enforce the law and let criminals roam the streets. That’s what this case was about, and that’s what it should have stayed about.

    #1608513

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Avi K: I work in the criminal justice system. However, we always go through the Supreme Court as we deal with felony prosecutions. As to your other question above about the 19 yea old, he was charged with a Class B felony, not a Class A.

    #1608524

    philosopher
    Participant

    NevilleChaim, I honestly think judges should and COULD set bail accrording to a defendant’s records, not the news.

    #1608534

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “resolve to refrain from yellow journalism in the future.”

    You want YWN to disappear?

    #1608549

    yitzchokm
    Participant

    “The fact of the matter is that bail amounts in NY are set by a schedule”

    Avi K,
    PLease post this “schedule” of yours. It doesn’t seem to exist.

    #1608566

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @NevilleChaimBerlin
    There is no question about the anti Judge Freier agenda in the Chasidic/Hareidi community and news outlets.
    I highly recommend viewing 93Queen PBS POV about the founding of the women’s ambulance corps and the opposition encountered.
    I am using this film ion one of the law courses I teach this coming semester.

    #1608569

    Genya
    Participant

    This young lady would have been well advised to RECUSE HERSELF from any aspect of dealing with this case, as it surely has proven to be a major conflict of interest.

    #1608594

    Avi K
    Participant

    CTL, the point is that a person without criminal law experience needs a period of time to learn the ropes.

    Iacisrmma, a Class B felony is much more serious than a misdemeanor. Moreover, as it was an attempt the crime attempted was a Class A-I felony.

    Yitzchokm, I did not find the exact formulae but I did find on NOLO that there are algorithms for bail. I also found on the websites of the Storobin Law Firm and Shalley and Murray that over $5K for misdemeanors is very rare. As Casey Stengel said, you can look it up.

    #1608595

    Avi,

    It seems it was a source of veto power for members of Sanhedrin
    Choose not mean as in the western Popular Democratic sense of voting choice

    1.They were supposed to have all the requisite qualifications
    2 If a majority of the people backed Sadducees for example
    the leaders eg Shimon ben Shetach were Entitled and obligated still
    to throw them out
    3.According to the braisa
    they were promoted from lower Courts based on pure character ,
    meritocratic ,And perhaps dialectic traits

    #1608614

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    There can be valid complaints against a judge, but much of the opposition to Freier still seems to be because she’s a woman. She was a woman before this also.

    #1608618

    Stick with the gist &
    excuse my several typos

    #1608625

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Avi K: Which according to a prosecutor I work with brings it down to a “B”. Still did not justify a $1,000,000 bail for a first time offender.

    #1608681

    yitzchokm
    Participant

    Avi

    When she said the bill at $15000 I also did my my research. I couldn’t find any actual real standards. I also saw this random website it says it averages at 5000. But fact that they say that usually happens is meaningless. Misdemeanors can range from leaving your child unattended in a car, to solicitation, to something that does guy actually did. That will you saw online isn’t wrong. But it doesn’t make it the rule, especially here when this shouldn’t have been a misdemeanor to begin with.
    Had our esteemed rabble rouser watched the video of the attack and been part of the community, she would have understand the severity of his crimes and not allowed him to potentially leave at a mere 15 k.

    Your entire premise is based on nonsense. Since there are no published guidelines, she should have used the power of the courts to undo some of the damage of the prosecutors decision not the charging for the actual crimes.

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