S E : The Kalief Browder Story - Exclusive
Rabia, Colin, and Susan bring you a special crossover episode where they discuss Time: The Kalief Browder Story, an upcoming docuseries about the story of Kalief Browder. The series chronicles the life of a 16 year-old student from the Bronx who spent three years on Rikers Island without ever being convicted of a crime. The Undisclosed team is joined by fellow podcasting hosts Brooke Gittings of Actual Innocence, Bob Ruff of Truth & Justice, and Payne Lindsey of Up & Vanished.
Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:
he does have a special bonus episode for you the story of a man in Khalifa prouder myself into the pod casters have teamed up to discuss this truly heart wrenching story hopefully this present awareness the sum of the bigger issues that revolve around this case the story begins in May of two thousand and ten in the products in New York City the flower was sixteen years old he was ten days away from the seventeenth birthday one night he was walking home from a party with a friend as they stroll down the street of Little City cop car pulled up in front of them and then another and another one before they knew it his friend felt so surrounded by police declined to buy blue or red flashing lights an officer approached them said they received a report about a robbery or disbelief he told police they had rub anybody the officers then searched both of them but found nothing to walk to the core spoke again to the alleged victim who was there himself then moments later the officers returned this time they had a brand new story the victim now claims that he was robbed at night but instead two weeks earlier we can spend were completely confuse again plead their innocence before they knew it both teams were hiccups right now the police station the back of a squad car prowler was then interrogated by police and prosecutors to continue to maintain his innocence the lighted match with no proof of any wrongdoing police charged him anyways with Robert because Clay's family can afford the bail he became stuck in jail indefinitely before you knew it was a bust directors Island was the Tories jail in America with a long history of violence and scanned Clay's brother would remain here for three years mind you he wasn't serving his sentence he was literally just waiting for trial Clay's brother was innocent he stood up from self refuse to take their plea bargain which could release him earlier but instead they made him stay in prison when he intervenes by corrections officers other inmates that was cause surveillance video for two of those years sleep is forced into solitary confinement finally after three years they decided to release their case against him was baseless and they knew it but sixteen year old kid had to endure three years of mental physical abuse in solitary confinement for the most dangerous prisons on earth for a crime he didn't commit to let Robbie if an undisclosed podcast take it from here to join the discussion later an episode of the the huh two thousand and ten Kali Friday was a sixteen year old black high school student from the Bronx walking home from a party when he was arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack not for any violent crime that for stealing a backpack he then spent unthinkable three years on Reichert island without ever being convicted of crime to be clear these are just charges he was never convicted of this crime but still he in prison for three years four hundred of those days in solitary confinement he was starved beaten and brutalized in prison before charges were eventually dropped and he was released the broader story became national news in two thousand and thirteen when he brought a civil rights lawsuit against New York City and York Police Department the Bronx DA and others for twenty million claiming physical and emotional torture his fight for justice brought to the forefront of public consciousness numerous issues including juvenile detention and solitary confinement tragically he never won that fight the demons that haunted him from those years of bikers drove him to his very young death on June six two thousand and fifteen twenty two year old Kali father committed suicide by hanging himself in his Bronx home it wasn't the first time he attempted to take his own life he tried to kill himself six times previously beginning when he was incarcerated at breakers at the age of sixteen the story was widely reported in The New York region the country and the world mean I've heard a famous rapper and music producer Jay Z is aiming to change all of that he's teamed up with The Weinstein company's tell Kali story through an incredible gut wrenching six part documentary series soon to air on Spike Jay Z calls Khalifa prouder of modern day prophet and his story a failure of the judicial process and for those of us who have previewed the documentary which recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival with The Daily Beast called it the best documentary coming out of the festival well we have to agree with that sentiment time the cliff broader story from your smart first at ten pm on spike but the podcasting teams at undisclosed truth and justice actual innocence and often vanished have all had a chance to preview this new series and today we come together to tell you all about it the the who they follow an order breakers Island famous tale in all of America it's Island in New York between Queens in the Bronx and connected to the mainland by a long bridge amount to corruption endemic there for years it so bad in fact it now on go the Department of Corrections had entered a consent agreement as a result of a class action brought by former inmates to the widespread abuse they suffered at writers as described by U S attorney in a cover letter to the court decree or choir The New York City Department of Corrections to develop and implement myriad new practices systems policies procedures designed to reduce violence in the jails and ensure the safety and well being of inmates reforms mandated by this agreement are designed to comprehensively address System Act efficiency for the plate the jail system and bikers island for years the sixty three page agreement calls for wide range of reforms intended dismantle a decades long culture of violence in the city jails and create an environment that protects both inmates and correction officers like many of the provisions this consent agreement are aimed specifically at how bikers handles my honors kids like a leaf who along with hundreds of other teenagers was held in solitary on the island in twenty fifteen the Board of Corrections go to in solitary for all inmates twenty one and younger and in October last year the measure was finally implemented in full but when Cleve is that Ryker is the use of solitary confinement as a means of disciplining teachers was routine the evidence against Cleveland case was painfully fan despite documentary makes a convincing case that there really wasn't any possible evidence of his guilt for the backpack robbery just a flimsy eyewitness ID that came a couple weeks after the crime they committed but it's hard to shake the feeling but the question of cliffs guilt or innocence is almost irrelevant because what happened hymns inexcusable regardless of whether or not and some ways I feel that examine the question of whether she was guilty don't be a way of justifying what happened to him again police supported claims of innocence do seem relevant and one very real way of Cleveland guilty of the crimes he had stolen the backpack then maybe he'd have been more inclined to take a plea deal and in doing so could have saved himself a spinning almost half of his teenage years on record island but Oakley said he was innocent he wouldn't take a plea and so he wouldn't go home and for me what happened next race is the weight of the question of his guilt or innocence because again you know he had been guilty that wouldn't provide any justification whatsoever to what he went through a stolen backpack or any crime can ever wore and torturing a teen ager for three years of solitary held without bail with the traffic is delayed and delayed for all kinds of reasons but with the resulting that police didn't get to go home until he was nineteen outsider by Kyle and the way the legal system handle cleave didn't seem cruel and faith necessarily there was any indication of hostility from the lawyers other court officers and police men and women shown the film who interact with them there's no sense of hostility towards him in particular no real sense of malice and clips and recount stories the way the courts that handle them in the way the police handle him it seems clip of professional sort of brace for Molly the conveyance well let's not make this any more unpleasant has to be for me the most chilling is probably the woman who interviews cleave after his arrest the police station she sounds friendly almost when she's questioned cleave in a small room the clock ticking away behind him beliefs clearly confused why is there what was accused of doing and she cheerfully asking questions with the sort of friendly indifference to Cliff's access to a sian although there's no malice or tone whatsoever no judgment it's clear she's handling cliff just like another cog in systems is the process through asking her list of questions moving on to the next the fact that the story she's asking about things make no sense to cross her mind the the same sort of toned re emerges years later in the Star form in the position but Cleveland through the years later after his release and after he brought suit against Department Corrections for the Nature conditions of his confinement he was deposed and the attorney for the fence doing her job Chris cleave about every aspect of his life that might provide some grounds for justifying what was done to him and she forces him to give a series of answers to all kinds of details that are clearly designed in the hopes that they could be leaders of the fence or the least excuse for why New York and put a seventeen year old in solitary for such a long period of time you were adopted that right you are suspended from school some other siblings have been in trouble before and on and of course the defense attorney a civil suit already knows the answers to all his questions they already the musically to say in order to make a story fit the trail that they need in the hopes of lessening the possible damages in a civil suit and they know all these answers because Cooley had been under the state eyes and literally before birth every move of his recorded every shortcoming added to a style everything he had on his short life was there at the state's ready for them to use against him anytime the state needed it to shore up a case whether the state was after the prosecutor in the criminal case or Africa leave since there was no criminal case ever in all terms were dropped when the state's acting as a defendant a civil proceeding China find evidence that Khalifa somehow justified these He went through and wealth not to focus the documentary in an era where politicians at the very highest levels have been talking about resuming the stop and frisk policies of the old days the documentaries and visceral discussion depiction of the impact that policy seems more important than ever he didn't just have his whole life monitored and every answered available to the States command for use in either somewhat trial proceedings he along with millions of others was subject to the state's arbitrary use of force to detain him pat him down by often to the state who were in search of a crime at random well almost a random the After cleats arrest he bucked the system he refused to go along with the routine processing that boys like him are supposed to go through by pleading out admitting to guilt to a crime of having their case resolved one way or another plea for fees at the plea ago and the legal system responded by simply shutting down on them can go to trial to scheduling can get bail hold for Kali if it was off to Michael's for three years while the gears justice caught up to the fact that he hadn't played out and he had processes about the way he was a poster and one survivors Island and the legal system seems to forgotten him and said the prison system took over life and bikers for Cleve fan for thousands of others was horrific and violent video clips of the fight that went on to the beatings the Cleveland ordered are hard to make sense of their clear mostly and that they show mostly what's going on a top down view of huddled fights in narrow hallways but at the same time the confusing understand mostly because the actions the guards kept me watching those clips trying to figure out what was going I couldn't reach a clear answer or the guards trying to stop the fights trying to break up the groups of other kids who are trying to be the Khalifa are were they just aggressively watching it just trying to live with her busy there's a weird sort of half hardness to their efforts to break up the fights it seems striking when juxtaposed to all the violence around them dressed like a leaf especially when I curse is notorious one Most dangerous Places both for and they can Correctional officers despite this the CEO's way into fights with the Boardman concern there and they halt the salty and scaly for the leisurely pace the the the there's nothing damning about those videos necessarily of the group fights nothing you could point to and say with absolute certainty that yes the CEOs are encouraging those fights between the inmates but the same time they do leave a clear impression of something not being right here something not being done to protect the kids the way it should've been done whether the CEOs were involved apathetic or acquiescence whatever was something wasn't right there is other videos to you that don't have any kind of ambiguity like that the bouncer acres isn't just between inmates in another video one in which no other inmates are around Cleve is being led by a CEO his cough the officers holding his hands walking down the hall and then suddenly with leaf doing nothing and the officer was saying a few words possibly from the video but certainly no physical actions taken by him the officer suddenly throws against the railing and then on the floor and up again down again Holy means the ground in the whole time cliche as much as he is a rag doll not fighting the guard at all despite the violence against him and fur this incident clique was given more time in solitary with no administrative hearing just a medical report noting that he'd gotten injured from hitting his face again to share a wall are maybe from supports the staff that's all it took to send a teenager solitary the twenty eleven report of the Human Rights Council and torture and Other cruel inhuman or degrading Treatment or punishment to find solitary confinement as quote physical and social isolation for between twenty two and twenty four hours each day for one day or more the practice of solitary confinement originated in the early days the American Republic and the Quakers constructed the first minute entries that were intended as a means of encouraging self repentance and reflection for criminals in creating these prisons the Quakers design individual for solitary introspection but eventually abandoned the idea of solitary confinement after observing that detrimental psychological effects of prolonged solitude but the rest of the country didn't follow suit according to testimony by professor Craig Haney given to a Senate subcommittee an estimated eighty thousand of the two point three million inmates in US prisons and jails are in long term solitary confinement and that number doesn't even include the similar practice of administrative segregation which is most recently before the Supreme Court the twenty fifteen case Davis versus the awe as he spent time in solitary confinement and so I watch the entire time in what's called administrative segregation when I visit him a visit and through glass and wire the is a single sober all single cells while St Clinton is on the most is on heaven's landings or encounter hundred and fifty euro prison and their administrative segregation is single cells very old system very small and in on its twenty three hours out of the day that probably is the same they generally administrative segregation are not allowed in the general yard but you are allowed in our day went back to the Allah case was initially really about administrative segregation or solitary confinement but Justice Kennedy decided to address it is concurrent opinion noting that quote There are indications of a new and growing awareness in the broader public of the subject of Corrections and a solitary confinement in particular as support Justice Kennedy stated to the case of Cleve prouder at writer's Island Weekly fatter was housed an average of one hundred teenagers are in solitary confinement each day and routinely placed in segregation for months at a time moreover forty one percent of the individuals in solitary confinement directors Island Central punitive segregation unit are mentally ill brother himself was in solitary confinement for about two years on numerous contemporary studies have confirmed the Quakers in its conclusion that solitary confinement causes psychological damage the isolated the effects are even more pronounced me young studies have consistently shown that you've now suffer the greatest psychological damage in solitary confinement because their brains are still developing recognizing this I am generally twenty fifth twenty sixteen President Barack Obama penned an op ed piece for The Washington Post and the executive order banning almost all use of solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons the president began his article by relaying the story of Cleve prouder President Obama's executive actions ban solitary confinement for juveniles and low level offenders held in federal prisons writing an op ed in Tuesday's Washington Post Obama cites the tragic case of Khalifa router in New York City Browner was sixteen when he was accused of stealing a backpack he spent three nightmarish years that Ryker is island without ever going to trial during that time he spent more than four hundred days in solitary confinement router killed himself the question of course is whether state prisons will follow Sue hundred and ninety six at the seven member nations have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which prohibits the use of solitary confinement for juveniles United States is the one exception beyond human rights though there are other reasons to abandon or at least reduce solitary confinement according to sticker shock twenty fourteen report from the Justice Policy Institute New Jersey spends five hundred and thirty seven dollars and thirty five cents per day and one six thousand one hundred and thirty three dollars per year to incur straight one at James Berger Bordentown which both extensively use solitary confinement and New Jersey juvenile Justice Commission has recidivism rate of eighty percent inversely Mississippi recently abandoned the use of solitary confinement and is concluded that it's a departure point eight million dollars annually and reduce violence levels by seventy percent The The The The The The The The The The winner defendant has been arrested is waiting for trial the judge must make the difficult decision of where to set bail the amount of money the defendant must post as collateral to ensure whole appear for court dates in addition to recruiting the imposition of cool and unusual punishments eight in them and also prohibits requirement of excessive bail several lawyers have claimed the eighth Amendment as well as the Federal bail Reform Act passed by Congress mean that a judge cannot set bail at an amount the defendant is unable to pay most famously the Supreme Court case United States versus Salerno this is the day I believe that that's exactly what stuck or spoilt dealt with in particular when it related as this case must also bring the court's attention the fact that one of the most important rights forgetting about obviously the harsh penalties were talking about here the loss of liberty there can be no harsh or imposition on individuals or society but in addition to that we have a situation in stock versus Boyle chief Justice Vincent pointed out the right to build in these circumstances and circumstances is necessary to enable someone to fairly me prosecutors challenging without that opportunity as the court there is a drastic difference between what individual may be prepared to submit himself to I believe that that's exactly what stuck or spoilt dealt with in particular one is related as this case must also bring the court's attention the fact that one of the most important rights forgetting about obviously the harsh penalties were talking about here the loss of liberty there can be no harsher position on individuals in our society but in addition to that we have a stock person spoil Chief Justice Vinson right now in these circumstances and circumstances necessary to enable someone to the prosecutors the Supreme Court and lower courts however have always taken the position that there's no right to bail him out the defending can afford to pay and given that eighty percent of defendants in this country qualify for public defenders that splits the pre trial detention of hundreds of thousands of defendants charged with nonviolent crimes according to ACLU records islands nearly forty percentage of individuals are incarcerated because they cannot afford bail plea from one of those individuals was incarcerated for three years pending a trial that never occurred because he couldn't push the bail amount of three thousand dollars The The The New Yorker acres Island are alone this experience according to a recent report by the Beer Institute called past due in twenty fifteen government agencies New Orleans collected four point five million dollars in revenue from bail fines and fees ended up paying six point four million dollars to jail defendants who couldn't pay their bail fines and fees this report came on the heels of a groundbreaking abacus brief of the Department of Justice in Georgia in the case of Maurice Walker the Justice Department is making it pretty clear it's very serious about criminal justice reform this time is keeping up its fight against fix cash bail amounts the state courts smells can make it hard for poor people to pay before their trials so they end up sitting behind bars until the actual court date the DOJ said this practice violates the equal Protection clause of the Constitution in a brief in a federal appeals court the department said quote auto fix bell schedules appear to be neutral on the face the Supreme Court has explained that policy that impulse tensions only ended individuals are not neutral in the operation the case in question is that of Maurice Walker in Calhoun Georgia he was arrested for misdemeanor it's been days in jail because he couldn't be the one hundred and sixty dollars bail set by the city he sue the federal judge ruled in this favor telling the city to let people arrested on misdemeanor offenses be released on their own recognizance the city appealed saying the governments are allowed under state law this isn't the first time the department has spoken out against expel a mouse but it is the first time is done so in a federal appeals court to ban administration ramping up its attempt to clean up the criminal justice system for years now along with fighting against ex bill the president has commuted more peoples prison sentences in the previous seven presidents combined on top of that the DOJ recently decided to phase out for profit prisons are now renewing contracts over the next few years Walker was charged with a misdemeanor crime of being a pedestrian under the influence with bail set at one hundred and sixty dollars Walker however has a serious mental health disability and a limited income from Social Security disability benefits and couldn't afford that Bella now the Department of Justice Challenge George's cash system that allows cases like this the deities argument was made or the eighth Amendment but instead under the due process and equal protection clauses alleging the cash system is in effect punish the poor for their poverty in the final portion of its brief the DOJ noted the deleterious effects of pre trial detention inability to prepare for trial loss of a job and disruption of family life the brief notes that these effects are felt even more severely by the poor who are already in a vulnerable position finally the brief notes the quote of the more than seven hundred and thirty thousand individuals incarcerated in local jails nationwide twenty eleven For example about sixty percent repeat of detainees or a change since two thousand and five and most of them were accused of nonviolent offenses both of these conditions priests of attention in a nonviolent offense but the case for Cliff Brodeur but again there's hope for change recently the court because of approved changes to the Terrapin state's bail system right now new this morning for certain people in Maryland will not be allowed to be held in jail simply because they can't afford bail Maryland's highest court court appeals unanimously approved the change to the state's pre trial system will go into effect on July first the change comes after hours of testimony last month in October mail Attorney General Brian frosh urge that individual's ability to pay be considered when setting bail now this change doesn't preclude a judgment ever setting Bella now be on the financial means of a suspect but it does make a billion to pay a primary consideration and hopefully these and similar changes mean individuals like leaf Crowder aren't the teens due to the lack of financial resource The The The The The The The The The The The Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants the right to speedy trial in the nineteen seventy two case burger versus wing go to defend and argue that the Supreme Court should interpret this right as establishing the shore and fixed deadline for holding a trial basis in the following reasoning the court case for free or free trial the hostility in the community loss of jobs retail associations there's even more specific pre trial for it the Supreme Court disagreed concluding that the question of whether this rate to a speedy trial has been violated must be demonstrated on a case by case basis in the absence of explicit guidance from this country's highest court many states have stepped in and has their own speedy trial laws New York's version is known as the ready roll this ready rule requires all felony cases excluding homicides must be ready for trial within six months of arraignment which is when the charger I doubt the defending in court this might make it seem like defense weathered in court at most half the year after their charged but the problem is that the six month clock and stop for any number of reasons including the defense filing motions before trial moreover the Bronx courts are so congested that one attorney asks for a one week adjournment the next court date using this to happen for six weeks or more thus every time a prosecutor request a one week adjournment in the Cliff Brodeur case he got six weeks instead but this only counted as one week against the six month deadline and brothers not alone in twenty eleven seventy four percent of felony cases in the Bronx were more than six months and the same applies for misdemeanors here's W NYC reporting on a current lawsuit regarding delays in scheduling of misdemeanor trials in the Bronx nonprofit Bronx defenders of claiming the judicial system is so dysfunctional it violates the U S Constitution's right to a speedy trial the group cited data showing people arrested for misdemeanors in the bra