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Why didn’t they do this before?

The AP:

NYC gun court gets tough on offenders

The court case listed as the People vs. Godfrey Hayle looked like an unremarkable one: Police claimed the 44-year-old suspect tried to ditch a 9 mm handgun last year during a drug bust.

But when Hayle walked into a downtown Brooklyn courtroom last week, state Supreme Court Justice Robert Holdman was unusually attentive — and blunt. For starters, he shot down a defense attorney’s bid for a plea deal with no jail time.

“That’s not going to happen in this case,” Holdman said. “The offer from the district attorney’s office is one year. I’m comfortable with that.”

It was a message that Holdman — a 42-year-old former prosecutor with a crewcut — sent several times that morning: Don’t expect much leniency in one of the nation’s busiest gun courts.

Cracking down on gun crime instead of guns is a novel approach. More:


While the strategy of making certain cases a priority by funneling them to the same judge in a specialized court isn’t unique, gun courts have become a cornerstone of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s highly publicized crusade to discourage criminals from selling, buying and using illegal firearms in the five boroughs.

Bloomberg and judicial officials announced the opening of gun courts in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens about three years ago. Since then, the percentage of gun-possession defendants receiving one-year jail terms or longer has roughly doubled, city officials said.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office alone has handled roughly 1,100 cases in gun court since 2003, with about a 90 percent conviction rate. More than half the defendants are between the ages of 16 to 21 years old. Most were caught carrying semiautomatic handguns.

Prosecutors in Brooklyn demand a minimum one-year sentence, even for first-time offenders who technically could receive probation. If defendants don’t agree to do the time, they’re forced to go to trial, often within six months — lightning speed for the courts. If convicted, they could go away for two years or longer.

5 Responses to “Why didn’t they do this before?”

  1. Sebastian Says:

    I’d be more enthusastic about this if New York City’s gun laws weren’t a violation of our civil rights.

  2. Brutal Hugger Says:

    The illegal guns in NYC are overwhelmingly handguns. It’s really hard (almost impossible) for an average joe to get a handgun permit here.

  3. ChareltonHest Says:

    Why should there be any such thing as an “illegal gun”, and why do you sound like you support this “gun courts” idea…when it is obvious that this buffoon wants to disarm the city. These laws are not going to be used just of crack dealers with weapons, but anydoy with a weapon.

    These laws shouldn’t even be there. Go after REAL crime: A anction that harms another. Do not go after “gun crime”, wich could easily be someone that owns a gun without an unconstitutional license.


  4. Andy Ford Says:

    It makes me wonder what happened to the individuals drug charges, (he tried to ditch the pistol during a drug bust.) Were they dismissed and he was allowed to do a year on the gun crime?

  5. Lyle Says:

    Notice how completely and how confidently they ignore the Second Amendment to the Constitution. And why would it be otherwise, given the lack of enforcement?

    I’m all for a “Gun Court”, for any and all violators of the 2nd Amendment. One year isn’t nearly enough though. They need to be stripped of any right to hold public office, or to vote, for life, deprived of their public pensions, and fined as well. That would be lenient, given the treasonous nature of any such willful violation of the Oath of Office.

    Street Crime? Totally different subject.

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