District 24

Rory I. Lancman

Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica

LANCMAN OP-ED: Op-ed: Arresting people for THC oil undermines justice reform
Queens Eagle, April 10, 2019

In a major step forward for our city and our justice system, the NYPD announced last month that it will stop arresting people for possession of THC oil, which contains one of the main chemicals in marijuana, and would instead issue a criminal summons in most circumstances.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: It’s a travesty that cash bail persists in New York State
New York Daily News, April 3, 2019

The Legislature’s failure to heed Gov. Cuomo’s call to end cash bail is a travesty.

Of all the evils of our current criminal justice system, perhaps none is so sinister, and so easily remediable, as cash bail. It literally incarcerates people because they’re poor; punishes people before they’re convicted; and forces innocent people to plead guilty just to get out of Rikers with “time served” — never mind that means a criminal record for the rest of their life that will impede their ability to get a job, housing, an education, and even potentially their right to vote; the New Jim Crow in all its ugly glory.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Dismiss warrants for all decriminalized offenses
Queens Chronicle, April 1, 2019

Late last month, three of our city’s district attorneys — Eric Gonzalez in Brooklyn, Darcel Clark in the Bronx and Cy Vance in Manhattan — announced their support for a plan I proposed to dismiss all open summons warrants for certain low-level offenses that were effectively decriminalized by the passage of the Criminal Justice Reform Act in 2016.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: Revenge porn bill I wrote is getting results in NYC
Queens Chronicle, February 28, 2019

Since my legislation made “revenge porn” a crime in New York City one year ago, more than 100 individuals citywide have been charged with unlawful disclosure of an intimate image under the New York City Administrative Code.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: The Fight Against White Supremacy Demands Preparation and Understanding
Queens Daily Eagle, January 14, 2019

The Proud Boys assaults should be a wake up call to the entire city that we need to have strategies in place to prevent white supremacist violence, and be prepared to deal with it if it does occur. That is why last week I introduced legislation in the City Council to establish a task force responsible for studying white supremacist organizations and acts of violence encouraged by these groups, and making recommendations to the city as to what safety procedures could be improved.

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LANCMAN OP-ED: Mayor must stop delaying the naming of new judges
Queens Chronicle, January 10, 2019

The mayor’s failure to promptly address these judicial vacancies will exacerbate the speedy trial crisis in New York City courts. Interim Civil Court judges are almost always appointed to Criminal Court, where they hear cases and help reduce the tremendous backlog that currently exists.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: City must improve process of paying bail
Times Ledger, December 15, 2018

…The city’s inability to fix the basics with bail or make improvements as required by the City Council are self-inflicted wounds. The city certainly can improve the system if we have the will to do so.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: Prosecutorial Misconduct Commission Will Only Be as Strong as Underlying Disciplinary Rules—And That’s a Problem
New York Law Journal, December 12, 2018

…It is upon this rotten foundation that New York’s newly built Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct is charged with providing a vehicle for accountability, and acting as a deterrent to misconduct. In the spirit of “if you build it, they will come,” it is now time for serious reform of the ethics and disciplinary rules for prosecutors, so that the Commission has the tools to do its important work.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: End the pay disparity for ADAs, Legal Aid lawyers
Queens Chronicle, November 8, 2018

When top-tier, experienced talent leaves the criminal justice system, the quality of our justice system is impacted. What is happening now should concern us all, and spur the city to action. We need to provide prosecutors and public defenders with more resources that will close the wage gap and allow them to offer salaries that match their experience and skill level and are commensurate with the pay for attorneys at city agencies.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: City Must Seek Feedback on Family Justice Centers From DV Survivors
Queens Daily Eagle, October 29, 2018

We know that the services offered at the Family Justice Centers are comprehensive and serve individuals in many communities with a variety of needs. However, what we do not know is how the people using these services feel they are working. That is information that our city needs to know, especially as more individuals are reporting domestic violence incidents and are potentially in need of services and support. We can use this data to guide our decision making into what services need to be expanded, improved, or left alone.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Mass Bailout shows unfairness of our justice system
Queens Chronicle, October 4, 2018

Earlier this week, I participated in the launch of the Mass Bailout, spearheaded by the RFK Human Rights organization and Kerry Kennedy, where we posted bail in Brooklyn for a woman who was stuck in custody because she could not afford to buy her freedom. This was the first of hundreds of Bailouts that will take place this month, as of legions of volunteers post bail for bail-eligible women and teenagers.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Human Trafficking Courts are making a huge difference in New York
Times Ledger, August 6, 2018

I am proud to say that the city has once again demonstrated its commitment to Human Trafficking Intervention Courts. In the upcoming year, the city will provide a record $1.2 million to support these courts and their affiliated service providers, a $200,000 increase from the previous year. The increased funding will enable the courts to meet growing demand and address specific service needs, including ESL classes for survivors, culturally and linguistically competent counselors, and emergency, transitional, and long-term housing.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Supervised Release Is Answer For ‘Fairer and Sensible’ Justice System
Queens Daily Eagle, August 1, 2018

If New York City is truly committed to making our justice system fairer and sensible for taxpayers, then expanding supervised release must be our way forward.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: I’ll protect all women’s right to choose abortion
Queens Chronicle, July 29, 2018

It is deeply concerning that the court in this case would disregard the testimony of the patients, escorts, staff, while seemingly bending over backwards to accept the testimony of the anti-choice harassers, especially in light of video testimony that showed what they were doing. These protestors deliberately created an entire atmosphere of intimidation and harassment that is anything but benign. These protests are not about persuasion; rather, those involved show up to shame and physically block women from accessing services that the constitution says they have a right to.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Human Trafficking Courts are making a huge difference in New York
Times Ledger, July 6, 2018

As human trafficking continues to upend lives across our city, it is my hope that the city will continue to provide additional funding to support these courts in the years to come. Our justice system can be the driving force for good.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: How should prosecutors fight the opioid crisis?
Queens Chronicle, June 14, 2018

New York City, like so many other areas around the country, is in the midst of a harrowing opioid epidemic that has devastated communities and torn families apart. This is a crisis that knows no bounds. In 2016, there were more than 1,000 overdose deaths in New York City that were attributed to opioids, including heroin and fentanyl. Here in Queens, last year there were more overdose deaths than murders.

These alarming statistics raise the question: What role should our criminal justice system play in combating the opioid epidemic? Experts overwhelmingly agree that addiction is a disease and should be treated as a health issue. However, opioid possession is usually treated as a felony, which can result in long prison sentences for users and dealers alike, and leave those struggling with opioid abuse with limited access to treatment.

Read more here

ADAMS, LANCMAN, MILLER AND RICHARDS OP-ED: Marijuana reform is necessary in Queens
Times Ledger, June 5, 2018

Marijuana enforcement has become the new stop, question, and frisk. These policies serve no public safety purpose, yet provide law enforcement with the opportunity to search and arrest individuals of color.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: City Should Combat Wage Theft
Queens Tribune, April 20, 2018

For thousands of New York City workers, a hard day’s work does not always result in a fair day’s pay. The reason: wage theft.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Better pay can help bring true police reform
Times Ledger, March 16, 2018

If New York City wants to continue to have the best police force in the country, then we need to pay our officers in line with what officers working in other jurisdictions and city agencies are making. The path toward continued police reform depends on it.

Read more here 

LANCMAN & RICHARDS OP-ED: Racial disparity in arrests for marijuana must end
Queens Chronicle, March 9, 2018

New York City has long held the unfortunate distinction as the “Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World.” It is a title the city earned after years of heavy-handed enforcement of low-level marijuana possession cases, which served virtually no public safety purpose and clogged our court system in the process.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: DA’s disparity
Times Ledger, February 16, 2018

There are many ways that Queens gets the short end of the stick when it comes to city funding, and the allocation of resources to the Queens District Attorney’s Office is no exception.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: My committee will work to ensure justice for all
Queens Chronicle, February 1, 2018

An equitable and efficient justice system is the cornerstone of civil society. Now more than ever the city’s criminal and civil legal operations deserve close scrutiny and serious reform.

As the Council begins its new term, I am excited to serve as the chair of the new Committee on the Justice System. We are empowered with a broad mandate to overhaul New Yorkers’ access to justice.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Bail relief overdue
Times Ledger, January 11, 2018

Creating an online bail payment system is not rocket science. We can buy goods online. We can pay bills and parking tickets online. There is no reason why New Yorkers should not be able to pay bail online for their friends or loved ones too.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: Revenge porn bill sends strong message
Times Ledger, November 30, 2017

With passage of this legislation, we sent a strong message to anyone who thought they could get away with this despicable act: not in New York City.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Keep fighting for women’s health care
Times Ledger, November 2, 2017

In hosting this legislative breakfast, our goal was to send a message loud and clear: Women’s health care is a priority and will remain a priority. We will continue to advocate for Choices Women’s Medical Center and vocally oppose any effort to undermine women’s health care.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: Fight for Better Wages Continues
Queens Courier, October 26, 2017

It is imperative that the city invest more resources in providing legal services for low-wage workers. Doing so is a win-win that will both assist the city’s most vulnerable and ensure that businesses are operating on an even playing field. The totality of these efforts will be a boon for our local economy, too.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Fight to curtail domestic violence carries on
Times Ledger, October 6, 2017

We are reminded during Domestic Violence Awareness Month that the power to speak up is critical to ending abuse. We must let victims know they are not alone, and that help is available. We must support advocates and local organizations on the front lines assisting our fellow New Yorkers. We must declare loudly, with one voice, that it is never OK to physically or emotionally abuse another person. We cannot tolerate this despicable behavior in New York City, or anywhere else.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Help Courts Stop Domestic Violence
Queens Courier, September 28, 2017

Every act of domestic violence has ripple effects across our City. It leads to homelessness, hospital visits, police interventions, lost jobs, and significant mental health impacts on both children and families.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: NYPD needs parental OK before teens do a lineup
Queens Chronicle, September 14, 2017

This policy is on the books for a reason. Parents should know and approve of any situation where a minor is being asked to be involved in a law enforcement operation.

Read more here 

LANCMAN OP-ED: Dismissing low-level warrants the right way to go
Times Ledger, August 17, 2017

We can hold people accountable for their actions without bringing down the heavy hammer of the criminal justice system on their heads.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: New bill holds NYPD accountable on fare evasion targets
Times Ledger, July 20, 2017

The collection and reporting of this data will illustrate how the city’s prosecution of fare evasion impacts certain communities unfairly and leads to criminal consequences when a fine would be sufficient to deter conduct. We need more information, and more readily available information, to bring about change to the city’s overzealous fare evasion enforcement.

Read more here

LANCMAN AND DAVID JONES OP-ED: Fare evasion is a crime of poverty
New York Daily News, June 16, 2017

We believe the collection, reporting and analysis of this data will shine a light on the city’s prosecution of fare evasion and its disproportionate impact on communities of color, and help fuel a movement for changed policies and procedures.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Blame de Blasio for NYC court delays: He won’t pick judges for eight open slots
New York Daily News, April 15 ,2017

The chronic delay creates a culture where surrender seems to everyone the most rational option, particularly to defendants stuck on Rikers because they can’t make bail. Many take pleas just to get out and get on with their lives — regardless of the long-term impact on their job, educational and housing prospects, or even their immigration status.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Broken Windows Policing Will Fuel the Trump Deportation Machine
Gotham Gazette, February 24, 2017

With the stakes so high for so many in our city, it is up to the mayor to determine if he is going to use his authority to protect people, or silently feed into Trump’s deportation machine. Talking about standing up to Donald Trump is one thing, but actually taking action is far more important.

New Yorkers are counting on the mayor to do what’s right and take a real, actionable stand for our values against Trump.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Raising the Age Raises Us All
NY Law Journal, January 17, 2017

Rory I. Lancman and Joshua Kingsley write: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s renewed push in his State of the State address to raise the age of criminal responsibility is a critically important component of criminal justice reform. It’s also an opportunity for New York City—working with the judiciary, the district attorneys and the defense bar—to expand local policies and procedures to mitigate the effects of New York’s draconian age threshold while we wait to see if the legislature heeds Gov. Cuomo’s call.

Read more here

LANCMAN OP-ED: Where Bill Bratton fell short
New York Daily News, August 2, 2016

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s sudden retirement comes at a crucial moment in policing in New York City, and, given the city’s and Bratton’s outsized role in our country, in policing in America as well. Particularly, we are asking ourselves: How much policing is enough, and who gets policed? These aren’t questions Bratton was always interested in asking, and his record in constructively answering them is decidedly mixed.

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LANCMAN LETTER: Making Police Use of Chokeholds a Crime
New York Times, July 7, 2015

Commissioner Bratton is undoubtedly well intentioned, but neither he nor any other commissioner “deserves the chance to run his department as he sees fit” without the City Council’s oversight and, where appropriate, its specific direction on how to solve a deadly problem that the department has for three decades failed to solve itself.

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LANCMAN OP-ED: Many ways for Bratton to fix broken windows
New York Daily News, February 2, 2015

Is this worth the constant, churning friction that policing these offenses engenders between cops and citizens? The distraction of our police from preventing serious crime and pursuing real criminals? The cost of maintaining criminal summons courts that handle about as many cases as are heard in the more serious misdemeanor and felony courts combined?

Read more here

LANMAN LETTER: A Dearth of Legal Services
New York Times, November 25, 2014

“A Push for Legal Aid in Civil Cases Finds Its Advocates” (news article, Nov. 22) and “Will Pot Pack New York’s Courts?,” by Kenneth P. Thompson (Op-Ed, Nov. 22), highlight the legal services crisis this country faces except in the most serious criminal cases: Americans can lose their homes, be denied health care and get saddled with a criminal record for life over a petty offense without any legal basis for want of a lawyer.

Read more here