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Ban on Felons from Juries in NYC Is Targeted in SDNY Suit Now Standing Briefs Through April

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 31 – What does a "jury of one's peers" mean? A new case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York asks for an answer, under the U.S. Constitution.

 It seeks to block Manhattan state court officials from enforcing a state law permanently barring people with past felony convictions from serving on juries, saying the ban violates the Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury and the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection. 

 Section 510(3) of the N.Y. Judiciary Law for now disqualifies people convicted of felonies from serving on juries, no matter the offenses or how long ago the convictions occurred. 

 The Complaint gets historical, and Bronx-y: "In the aftermath of the murder of Amadou Diallo in February 1999 by members of the NYPD Street Crimes Unit, the New York State Attorney General investigated the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices (particularly those of the Street Crimes Unit)."  

In SDNY, the case has been assigned to Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald.

On January 31, 2023, Judge Buchwald issued this: "from Naomi Reice Buchwald, United States District Judge dated 1/31/2023 re: The Court's letter of January 20, 2023 was explicit: the threshold issue of standing was to be briefed first and separately. While the Court did not wish to create undue pressure on counsel, it is inconceivable that both parties have not given this issue careful thought already, and, thus, the proposed briefing schedule is puzzling. Since counsel's proposal is not acceptable, the Court directs that defendants' moving brief on standing alone be submitted on February 27, 2023; plaintiffs' answering brief be submitted on March 28, 2023; and defendants' reply be submitted on April 11, 2023. Very truly yours. (Brief due by 3/28/2023. Reply to Response to Brief due by 4/11/2023. Responses to Brief due by 3/28/2023.) (Signed by Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald on 1/31/2023)."

 It is Justin et al v. Tingling, 22-cv-10370 (Buchwald)


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