Sam Feldman 🌹 Profile picture
Appellate public defender. @nycDSA member. Washingtonian by birth, Chicago alum. He/him. Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
Papa De Razón Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
Apr 26 7 tweets 3 min read
The NY Court of Appeals held today (4 to 3) that a 19-year-old who was interrogated in police custody never invoked his right to a lawyer. Here's his conversation with the detective after being read his Miranda rights, judge for yourself: nycourts.gov/ctapps/Decisio… That excerpt is from the dissent, which also explains what happened next. The detective clearly understood what the majority pretends not to: the teenage detainee wanted to speak to his lawyer. But that might get in the way of extracting the statement the police wanted.
Apr 10 14 tweets 4 min read
In June 2020, Buffalo cops were caught on camera gratuitously pushing a 75-year-old protester to the ground, fracturing his skull. Two years later, let's check in on what's happened to those cops. It shows how our hierarchy of consequences for police misconduct is all screwed up. What would a good hierarchy of consequences for police misconduct look like? When an officer is accused of misconduct, how easy should it be to impose job consequences (termination/suspension/reassignment) vs. civil liability vs. criminal penalties? Here's my answer:
Jan 10 11 tweets 5 min read
There's been a lot of inaccurate reporting about the policies new Manhattan DA @AlvinBraggNYC announced last week, & in particular I've seen a lot of misconceptions about the resisting arrest policy. Here's an example from the NYT: nytimes.com/2022/01/08/nyr… Police unions & their allied media have seized on the idea that Bragg will stop charging people with resisting arrest as a symbol of the chaos his new policy will supposedly unleash.
Oct 6, 2021 29 tweets 7 min read
When you pay cash bail to buy someone's freedom as they await their trial, you theoretically get the money back provided they show up to court, which most people do. But how does it work in practice? In this thread I'll livetweet the process of trying to get bail money back. I've written before about the difficulty of posting bail in NYC. You can only pay online if the judge chooses to allow payment by credit card; if not, the in-person process can take hours. Here's a thread about a difficult bail payment from last year.
Sep 2, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
I’ve seen others propose using the Texas anti-abortion law’s procedural trick against conservatives, so let’s play out what would happen if New York passed a law allowing you to sue your neighbors for owning multiple guns: Gun rights groups might bring a pre-enforcement challenge, but on the basis of the SCOTUS decision yesterday they’d probably lose & the law would go into effect. People would start to sue multiple-gun owners, who’d respond by arguing the law violated the 2nd Amendment.
Jun 18, 2021 10 tweets 4 min read
People have asked me how to vote on judicial races in NYC, which is a confusing & undercovered topic. Here's my thoughts with some links, in case it's useful. Please chime in if you have information to add: First, the one non-Civil Court race on the ballot: for Surrogate's Court in Brooklyn, vote for Rosemarie Montalbano. This race is basically about whether the county Democratic machine gets to control profits from administering dead people's estates. cityandstateny.com/articles/polit…
Jun 17, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
The Supreme Court managed to cop out in its big religious exemption case this year, about whether Philadelphia has to keep contracting with a Catholic foster care agency even though it discriminates against same-sex couples. Philly lost on narrow grounds. supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf… The liberals + Roberts, Kavanaugh, & Barrett managed to find a way to rule against Philadelphia that avoided the big question of whether you can nullify antidiscrimination laws by claiming your religion requires you to discriminate. But the right wing will get their way soon.
Jun 16, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
An overlooked role of NYC's mayor is appointing judges to city courts, where they make life-changing decisions about who goes to jail, loses their kids, gets evicted, etc. De Blasio appointed 130+. @FreedomAgendaNY asked the candidates who they'd appoint. fa.urbanjustice.org/mayoralcandida… .@scottmstringer says he'd appoint diverse judges "committed to upholding the reforms passed by the State legislature and choosing the least restrictive means necessary to ensure defendants return to court." He recognizes the importance of good judges. fa.urbanjustice.org/wp-content/upl… Image
Jun 11, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
Last year, the NY Court of Appeals rejected a constitutional challenge to the state's practice of keeping people in prison past their release dates if they're too poor to find compliant housing. @LegalAidNYC filed a cert petition, & SCOTUS is interested. supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?fi… Here's the Court of Appeals decision from last November, with 2 judges dissenting. The NY Attorney General ignored the cert petition at first, but SCOTUS has now requested they respond by June 28. At least one justice must be looking closely at the case. nycourts.gov/ctapps/Decisio…
Aug 29, 2020 13 tweets 4 min read
You have to read between the lines a bit, but this decision by a NY appeals court from this week seems to reveal police misconduct & perjury. There won't be any consequences for the cop, but here's what seems to have happened in case anyone's interested: nycourts.gov/reporter/3dser… A Brooklyn cop got a search warrant for an apartment, supposedly based on an informant's claim that he'd bought drugs there twice. As usual it was a no-knock warrant, & cops burst in at 6:20am to find a man asleep in bed. Here's what these raids look like.
Jun 7, 2020 10 tweets 3 min read
There are social media reports circulating that habeas corpus has been suspended in New York, which people find justifiably alarming. Although what's happening in New York is bad, it is not a suspension of habeas corpus. Here is the explanation for anyone who's interested. Habeas corpus is an old legal mechanism that allows people who are being held by the government to challenge the legality of the detention in court. If the government were to grab you off the street and hold you somewhere, you could file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
Feb 13, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
So proud of my friends Liv Warren & @happygolawky for testifying before the House Judiciary Committee today on sexual harassment in the federal judiciary & the inadequate mechanisms for addressing it. Here's a written copy of Liv's testimony about the harassment she experienced while clerking for the late Judge Stephen Reinhardt, a brilliant left-wing jurist whose shocking behavior towards his clerks was the subject of rumors before his death in 2018. docs.house.gov/meetings/JU/JU…