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Young NYC Man Spent Five Years in Jail Waiting for Murder Trial and Was Acquitted

Donovan Drayton was arrested and accused of murder days after a 30-year-old man’s bullet-riddled body was found in the doorway of a single-family home in South Jamaica Queens.

Drayton, a 19-year-old with no criminal record, said he was innocent. But given the severity of the charges, a judge refused to grant bail. So he was sent to Rikers Island pending trial. And there he waited.

And waited.

Drayton spent five years behind bars as a pretrial detainee. In July he was acquitted of murder. His case is the story of a court system so plagued by delays that the notion of innocent until proven guilty has been turned on its head.

Over the past decade, as New York City’s backlog of felony cases has grown, so too has the time defendants are spending behind bars before trial. The average pretrial detention in a felony case was 95 days in 2012 — up 25 percent from a decade earlier, despite a drop in new felony cases, according to a recent report from City University of New York researchers. And some defendants spend significantly longer behind bars. Of the people who spent time in jail during 2012, about 3,200 were behind bars for a year or more awaiting their day in court, according to city data.

(Hat tip to Thaddeus Russell)

Source: WNYC. Read full article. (link)

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  • ||

    Wah Wah Wah. This whiny little snot is going to play the "but I was innocent" card.

    What if they let all of the innocent people out of jail? The streets would be overrun with them.

  • Adam||

    "Whiny little snot"? And what would you be doing in the same situation? You wouldn't appreciate it if the story ran in the paper after spending 5 years in jail waiting for your trial, for a crime you didn't commit? How would you feel if we then said to you "ah, come on, quit whining! What were they supposed to do, let you go because you said you were innocent, and that they didn't have enough evidence for even a hung jury"?

  • ||

    The sound you heard was the joke whizzing over your head.

  • Adam||

    Right. There are ways to express sarcasm in written form, and that comment used none of them. Sorry, but there was no sound, at least not here.

  • np||

    What if they let all of the innocent people out of jail? The streets would be overrun with them.

    whooosh...

  • Free Society||

    Right. There are ways to express sarcasm in written form, and that comment used none of them. Sorry, but there was no sound, at least not here.

    Don't blame the medium for your inabilities. That last line about the streets being over-run with innocents should have clued you in. I could definitely hear that whoosh sound of you missing the joke.

  • ||

    Wah Wah Wah. This whiny little snot is going to play the "but I was innocent" card.

    What if they let all of the innocent people out of jail? The streets would be overrun with them.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    The state should be held responsible for all costs to the defendant in any case where the defendant is acquitted or charges are dismissed or dropped. Fuck prosecutors.

  • Robert||

    No, I think in this case he gets a free shot at any crime for which the sentence is 5 yrs. or less, because if he's convicted he gets sentenced to time served.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Seems a tad unconstitutional. Thank God there are harsh consequences for agents of the state who violate constitutional protections.

  • Adam||

    Take a look at this one OMwC, this is a prime example of obvious sarcasm, as he is using an argument that you never hear, because it is so ridiculous, and clearly wrong.

    The above comment (in duplicate) is actually a stupid argument that you actually hear quite often. You even see some just like here here on occasion, with follow-up, well-deserved ridicule.

  • ||

    Whoosh!

  • Adam||

    The fact you can't see the difference tells me everything I need to know.

  • Free Society||

    Still whooshing you could detect humor?

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