The right to a speedy trial is enshrined in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In New York State, it is implemented through Criminal Procedure Law 30.30. However, CPL 30.30 contains loopholes that, when compounded by severe court backlogs, lead to unreasonable delays for people who have been charged but not convicted of a crime. In New York City alone, nearly 80% of the people in jail are detained pre-trial, forced to spend extra months, or even years, in pre-trial detention as they await their day in court.
People’s constitutional rights are violated while they languish in jail, putting their livelihoods and families at risk. Katal is working to fix speedy trial in New York by supporting “Kalief’s Law,” named after Kalief Browder. Kalief, charged with allegedly stealing a backpack, spent three years in jail awaiting his day in court. By passing Kalief’s Law, we can take steps to fix New York’s broken speedy trial process.