Scott Hechinger Profile picture
Civil rights attorney. Longtime public defender. Dad. Executive Director, Zealous: I’ll be here if it all goes down:
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Mar 24 4 tweets 2 min read
The "new numbers" literally show that bail reform has led directly to a *drop in rearrests*, that even for those released on violent felony charges (not bail reform, but judicial discretion) had no connection to any increase in crime, & that most violent crime is down in 2023. Image Here's the report she's citing to. Look at the findings based on year's worth of data on NY bail reform: "There were reductions for any re-arrest and felony rearrest over two years."

Less people in jail has meant greater freedom, cost savings, and public health and safety. Image
Mar 24 5 tweets 2 min read
We should all be concerned about a Governor regularly lying to the public. Worse: To undermine their health & safety, cost a fortune, & jail 10,000s more.

It's getting worse. She just claimed a definitive report on bail reform's success said the… NY Gov. Hochul claimed that recently-released data supports her proposal to repeal bail reform, because there was an increase in rearrests for people charged with violent felonies.

The governor is wrong: the report explicitly rejects this argument.…
Mar 20 7 tweets 3 min read
The anatomy of how (NOT) to write an article about bail reform in New York. Bad reporting practices mislead the public and undermine support for a successful policy.

You gotta watch this video. Simple. Clear. Sort of hilarious, except for how awful the topic is: Bail reform is a massive success. It has increased freedom, decreased recidivism and saved taxpayer money. All at no cost to public safety.

An easy story to tell, but you wouldn’t know it by listening to the news.
Mar 20 5 tweets 2 min read
Many of the loudest voices blame progressive criminal justice reforms for crime, but 8 of the 10 states with the highest murder rates are red states. "The murder rate in the 25 states that voted for Donald Trump has exceeded the murder rate in the 25 states that voted for Joe Biden in every year from 2000 to 2020."…
Mar 17 15 tweets 7 min read
Most people think public defense was invented 60 years ago by a group of white men on the Supreme Court in a case called Gideon v. Wainwright. They're wrong.

Public defense was invented 130 years ago by a group of enterprising women. Know their… “The story starts when Clara Shortridge Foltz was just 15 years old. She eloped with a Union soldier. Bore five children, moved across the country, & ended up a single mother in CA, where she got, it seems, incredibly fed up with being told to sit down and be quiet.”
Mar 16 5 tweets 2 min read
Study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study...… …after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after study after……
Mar 2 13 tweets 9 min read
We just don't think enough about child care as a social and racial justice imperative. Just watched this campaign & video. Learned so much. Can't stop thinking about it.

Such a clear a solvable crisis. Thread w/ powerful script & artwork. Must watch: Juliana remembers the day her son, Leo, was born four years ago. She remembers the strength she felt looking at him: she would do whatever she had to, to fill his life with joy.

But as a single, working mother, life was getting harder.
Mar 1 8 tweets 4 min read
This is infuriating. Government subsidized early child care should be a right. Otherwise: Loss of jobs, housing, utilities, & a cycle of poverty simply for having a child while poor. This video lays it out clearly. Learn more at There is a clear and solvable crisis in California. There is a severe lack of funds for child care for families who really need it, specifically for private child care homes and centers, and for providers. Impact is severe.

Meet Juliana:
Mar 1 19 tweets 7 min read
THREAD: News today NYC taxpayers forced to pay millions to settle NYPD brutality. For what?

*Orchestrated an attack* on 100s of protestors in June 2020. Used curfew to trap, assault & arrest. Mass human rights atrocity.

NYPD called it “restraint.… Human Rights Watch (@hrw) conducted an investigation. Based on videos, mapping tech, hundreds of interviews. Found NYPD planned a coordinated assault. Trapped them 10 minutes before curfew to justify attacking them for being out past curfew. All on film.
Feb 23 7 tweets 4 min read
Albany NY DA @DavidSoaresNY is an avid liar & opponent of safety. Fact checked: "Continues to lie about reforms that've made NYers safer & system more fair. Soares campaigns for policies that incarcerate more people. His arguments do not hold water."… "The data's clear: Long-overdue reforms passed in 2019 didnt cause an increase in crime. Studies: No connection between bail reform & any increase in crime.

So given the overwhelming data against him on the broad issue, Soares tries to cherry-pick data."…
Feb 22 8 tweets 3 min read
Two years ago, Fiona Apple popped up on a zoom call to get trained by local organizers to Courtwatch. Dedicated ever since. Her work has led to freedom, lawsuits, accountability.

The stories all here in this short video. She wrote & performed the score: Be like Fiona Apple. Volunteer to CourtWatch. Visit this campaign hub, learn more, connect w/ a local courtwatch program, &/or learn how to start your own.

Injustice happens in empty courtrooms. Which allows police brutality to continue outside of them.
Feb 16 8 tweets 4 min read
Fiona Apple is a real one. Courtwatching for 2 years. Speaking out about injustice she sees. Now this: Narrating & writing/performing her first ever score for this short film.

"I'm watching a bail hearing. These decisions can mean life or death." Listen: "The Court Watchers" film starts w/ Fiona Apple courtwatching. As she has for last 2 years. Virtually in PG County, MD court.

"There are 4 screens in front of me. Lawyers dressed in suits. A judge in a robe. Then a person in an orange jumpsuit. I'm watching a bail hearing."
Feb 15 14 tweets 7 min read
NEW from @washingtonpost: “Court transparency advocates have joined forces to launch what they say is the next frontier of criminal justice accountability: a National Courtwatch Network.”

On transparency, a new film, Fiona Apple's new score, &… “features an award-winning short film called “The Court Watchers,” narrated by actor Jesse Williams, with an original musical score from Fiona Apple, one of the national network’s highest-profile volunteers.”

Feb 15 18 tweets 12 min read
Injustice happens in empty courtrooms. But a growing movement of volunteer court watchers is showing up & documenting what they see. This powerful short film-"The Court Watchers"-tells the story. *Score by Fiona Apple. Narration by Jesse Williams.*

Watch: "The Court Watchers" film starts w/ Fiona Apple courtwatching. As she has for last 2 years. Virtually in PG County, MD court.

"There are 4 screens in front of me. Lawyers dressed in suits. A judge in a robe. Then a person in an orange jumpsuit. I'm watching a bail hearing." Image
Feb 9 5 tweets 1 min read
My son just discovered “giving the middle finger” and he won’t put it down. He knows what it means and thinks it’s hilarious. What do I do? Just running around pointing his middle finger at me now cracking up. Poking me with it.
Jan 25 12 tweets 5 min read
My friend & colleague, Asia Johnson, is deeply courageous. Today in Teen Vogue, she opens up about mental health issues, nearly a decade in prison, & what incarcerated women need.

"Women in prison often sit in the dark. My story is bound up in theirs."… "In 2011, I joined the over 2,000 women incarcerated at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility, the only women’s prison in Michigan. Prior to my incarceration, I was just a depressed college student, who, perhaps selfishly, had no real conception of life behind bars."
Jan 25 17 tweets 7 min read
Fiona Apple has become an avid Court Watcher. Her work helped people jailed pretrial file a civil rights lawsuit. Then: Retaliation. Shut off her court access.

Today her testimony will be read in Maryland's legislature. "My name is Fiona Apple. I've been courtwatching." Thread: This thread will transcribe Fiona Apple's important, compelling testimony submitted to Marylands legislature. To advocate for remote court access. But she also read it to camera here too for those who can't read her testimony.

She's clear. Decisive. Share:
Jan 24 10 tweets 5 min read
Fiona Apple (& dog Mercy) have a new story to share w/ you.

She & other court watchers were retaliated against for reporting on injustice. Denied access. She just submitted testimony in MD legislature to defend virtual court watch.

A video series on court access. The intro: Before I share Fiona Apple reading her written testimony on court access & injustice just filed in the MD legislature, here’s the last video series I posted from her.

Explaining how her & others observations supported a powerful lawsuit & then were brazenly retaliated against.
Jan 16 4 tweets 1 min read
On this MLK Day, I want you all to see this & know this as well as the “I Have A Dream” speech. Speechless at his wisdom and truth. "No other ethnic group has been a slave on American soil. And then color became a stigma." Transcribed remainder below. “America freed slaves in 1863, but gave them no land or nothing to get started on. Emancipation for the negro was really freedom to hunger. Freedom to the winds & rains of heaven. Freedom w/o food to eat or land to cultivate. Therefore it was freedom & famine at the same time.”
Jan 14 4 tweets 1 min read
Just to state it as clearly as possible: Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul just won her election, w/ a Democratic supermajority in both the state senate & assembly, & has a historic opening for chief judge of NY’s highest court. And she nominated a *conservative, pro-life, judge.* Better said.
Jan 12 4 tweets 1 min read
Think about this: There is a child in adult solitary confinement. Right now. There is a window in his cell. But they blocked it out. Somebody took time out of their goddamn day to block the child’s only window to outside. He hasnt see sunlight in a year. This is America. Can’t share more right now. But working on it.