Attorney Ian Friedman will be one of the local legal figures the Anti-Defamation League will
meet with this weekend to discuss bail reform and other practices that
could better our criminal justice system. The organization has become
concerned that Cuyahoga County is one of the many areas in the country
where minorities and the poor have been victimized by the court system.
As Cleveland.com reports, Attorney Friedman is one of three local legal luminaries the organization
will meet with Sunday. Also scheduled to speak with the organization are
Cuyahoga County Law Director Robert Triozzi and Cleveland Municipal Court
Administrative Judge Ronald Adrine. Attorney Friedman is the only Cleveland
criminal defense expert scheduled to meet with the civil-rights advocacy
The "Mass Incarceration" Problem
According to the most recent data, the United States has the highest incarceration
rate in the world: about 2.3 million prisoners total. Because of this,
advocates are now urging lawmakers to take a closer look at their criminal
justice practices and find ways end discrimination against minorities
and the poor. One way to do this is to reform our bail system and remove
disposable income as a qualifier for escaping jail time.
In Washington D.C., for example, criminal suspects who are low risk to the public (roughly 85% of all
arrests) are not issued a bond by the court-- they're free to go until
their next court date. The money saved by not jailing these suspects is
tremendous. Over the last 25 years, it's estimated that the Washington
D.C. has saved nearly $400 million. Cleveland.com's "Impact 2016:
Justice for All" initiative estimates that if a similar system were
implemented in Cuyahoga County, taxpayers would save $45 million a year.
Skepticism from Some
Not everyone is ready to believe that our justice system discriminates
against some of our citizens. John J. Russo is the county's top administrative
judge and believes that there is no evidence that bail reform would be
advantageous. "There is still no concrete evidence that a bail system
overhaul would substantially benefit the Cuyahoga County criminal justice
system," he wrote to Cleveland.com. "I have asked the Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor and the County Executive to provide me with factually-based
statistics to show that proposed changes would benefit Cuyahoga County
and the citizens we serve, and I have not received anything." At
the time of Judge Russo's email, the country was jailing more 400
inmates over its recommended capacity.
Attorney Ian Friedman has long been an advocate not only for his own clients
but for a fairer criminal justice system in the state of Ohio. While he
was president of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he
worked with defense attorneys and prosecutors alike to draft a revision
of Ohio Criminal Rule 16, or "Open Discovery," which mandates
greater transparency from prosecutors in their effort to try and convict
Attorney Friedman is looking forward to his conversation with the Anti-Defamation
League and is eager to offer insight and ideas that may further the effort
to better our criminal justice system.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a serious crime, our team at
Friedman & Nemecek, L.L.C. invites you to call us today. Our experienced and sought-after Cleveland
criminal defense attorneys are not only aggressive, effective advocates
for our clients but are trusted legal resources for our entire community.
Get unparalleled knowledge and capability on your side during this uncertain
time. Contact us today to request a
free case evaluation.