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In SDNY Magistrates Court Access Remains March 16 As Inner City Press Asked Of Video

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon
BBC - Decrypt - LightRead - Honduras - Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 16 -- A order staying all upcoming trials until April 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York went onto the docket past 6 pm on Friday, March 13. Inner City Press  uploaded it here.

  The order, by SDNY Chief Judge Colleen McMahon, also said that "until further notice, Magistrate‚Äôs Court will be conducted in its usual location on the Fifth Floor of the Moynihan Courthouse."

 On March 16 Inner City Press went and covered six proceedings in the SDNY Magistrates Court. Notably, in one of them the prosecution table was staffed by US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. (Also notably, even four hours later this new defendant was not in the docket on PACER.)

  But this week's Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron did yeoman work, declining requested for detention in a case where Berman's Assistant US Attorney admitted not seeing the video he spoke of, here, and in a murder for hire case.

  Two extraditees from Romania has only lawyers by phone, here. One wonders if the CJA panels couldn't be polled for who is still willing and able to come into the courthouse.

  At one point, SDNY Clerk of Court Rita Krajick and other went back with Judge Aaron for three minutes in the robing room. Later, a confab took place in which Inner City Press spotted newer Magistrate Judge Sarah Cave, and another participant told Inner City Press he saw Chief Mag Chief Gabriel Gorenstein.

 Since proceeding continued after that, one hopes that remains the case, or that provision for full Press access is made for any video or audio presentments, arraignments or pleas.

 But the questions of how the Press can access proceeding that are moved to tele-conference has been raised, and Inner City Press is waiting for and will act on the answer. Watch this site.

Earlier on March 13 a well placed defense lawyer in the SDNY told Inner City Press that "the jails are being closed for 30 days."

  Further inquiry by Inner City Press with other SDNY lawyers confirmed "no legal or medical visits for thirty days, nationwide." Several defense lawyer told Inner City Press it is an outrage and will undermine their clients' rights.

 A quick check-in at the SDNY Magistrates Court found an Assistant US Attorney arguing for the remand to the Metropolitan Correctional Center of a defendant named Sepulveda. 

 Earlier on March 13 SDNY Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang, with Inner City Press the only media in the Mag courtroom, said without the court reporter transcribed that "This court will remain open [albeit] with social distancing." 

Also on March 13 in SDNY Courtroom 15A Inner City Press came up a witness testifying by video to a Federal trial elsewhere, seemingly to avoid travel. The times they are a changing. Watch this site. 


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