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All Upcoming SDNY Trials Pushed to April 27 Press Access To Phone and Video Hearings Unclear

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 13 -- 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 has uploaded it here.

  The order, by SDNY Chief Judge Colleen McMahon, extended the Speedy Trial Act time on all criminal cases in the District to April 27.

  Things will remain the same, however, for criminal presentments in the SDNY Magistrates Court, which Inner City Press stayed covering until past 6 pm on March 13. Despite rumors, the order wisely does not seek to restrict press access to the courthouses or proceedings.

  Chief Judge McMahon's order encourages court hearings by telephone and video. It does not explain, however, how the press will have the access to which it is has a right, in order to inform the public, to such hearings. We aim to have more on this: 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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