Last week, in the wake of the recent suicide of Kalief Browder, the young man who was held on Rikers Island for three years without a trial, the
New York Post
reported that another young man, Carlos Montero, 24, has awaited trial on the island for more than twice as long. In an article published Friday, the
attempts to explain how a defendant like Montero could languish in jail for years without appearing before a jury.
Montero was only 17 years old in 2008 when he was arrested and charged in relation to a murder and robbery along with two of his friends. The
attributes the delay in Montero’s trial primarily to the fact that prosecutors are seeking to try him together with his codefendants in order to ensure that all three are convicted. Each defendant is now on his second set of attorneys and one is fighting the introduction of DNA evidence found on the murder weapons. Montero claims he was not present during the crime and has rejected an informal plea deal.
Montero has appeared before the same judge 77 times since his arrest, but a judicial spokesman deflected the blame to defense attorneys and prosecutors who, he told the
, each have different motivations, strategies, and tactics.
reports that Montero is only one of hundreds of current New York City inmates who are incarcerated indefinitely without trial. According to the article, approximately 400 inmates have been awaiting trial on Rikers Island for at least two years. There are at least five who have languished there for more than six years.
This is a totally unacceptable travesty of justice. This man’s rights under the law have been unjustly withheld. He deserves his day in court without any further delay.