Avoiding the fare on New York’s subway was a misdemeanor so these few minutes were just a brief interruption in his busy, but poor, life.
Richard was surprised when he was put in the paddy wagon and taken to Rikers.
He was even more shocked two-months later when he was still behind bars in a filthy, overcrowded cell.
Is Vance A Prosecutor For The Well-Heeled?
To listen to the media, the district attorney of Manhattan’s, Cyrus Vance, Jr., tends to look the other way when it comes to white-collar crime. And there’s evidence of a soft spot in the DA ’s heart for the Uber-wealthy.
In 2012 when Trump siblings, Ivanka and Donald Junior, were not prosecuted for hoodwinking prospective buyers in the SoHo Trump Tower, their attorney, Marc Kasowitz, threw a fundraiser for Vance and raised tens of thousands for Vance’s campaign.
Even after falling-from-grace, Harvey Weinstein confessed on tape, Vance still decided not to file sexual-assault charges. The International Business Times reported David Boies, Weinstein’s attorney, had made a $10,000 donation to Vance in 2015.
In March, New York’s Governor Cuomo, instructed the NY Attorney General to look into Vance’s treatment of the Weinstein Case.
Vance’s star is falling. Facing an unchallenged vote for a return trip to the office in November, 10% of Manhattan’s citizens are so tired of Vance’s willingness to say one thing but do another, they wrote in someone else’s name. Whose name? ABV — Anybody But Vance.
Smoke And Mirrors
With all the clouds hanging over Vance’s care and feeding of the affluent and acclaimed, another facet of his work is starting to become noticed. In spite of wrapping himself in a blanket, he calls “progressive reform,” Vance is more punitory to poor and ethnic defendants than he is to the fat-and-bloated.
Vance’s record is even worse than district attorney’s in the other divisions.
A survey released by a board on Rikers Island, revealed Vance was accountable for 38% of the jailed populace in 2016 — despite handling only 29% of all cases in the city. “No other district gets close,” the paper said.
Parade of Imprisonment
The march of confinement is exacerbated by Vance’s draconian requirements for bond. In 2016, Vance’s stats show he detained 17% of people accused of misdemeanors or insignificant violations — everything from jumping a turnstile to smoking a join.
Vance is also known for his tight-fisted approach to making defense attorneys available to detainees. It’s not just defense lawyers Vance refused to make available. When an accused has his lawyer, Vance still won’t hand over law enforcement’s reports and eyewitness accounts needed to mount a vigorous defense.
As the rest of the metro’s DAs have crept toward “open file discovery,” Vance’s approach is called “trial by ambush” by the city’s defense lawyers.
Reforms? What Reforms?
New York lawyers who work with the poor say Vance has failed to enforce his reforms. “We’re still getting bail requests on people who are charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies,” says Tina Luongo, chief attorney for the Legal Aid Society. “The whole country is talking about not setting bail for the poor, but Vance can’t motivate his office to follow suit.”
“It’s frustrating to hear someone boast about reform and not see they are running two different prosecutorial shops,” said Arkady Bukh, an internationally known criminal defense attorney. “New York has two pipelines for justice. One for those with influence and the other for the poor.”