On October 19, NYS Chief Judge Janet DiFiore provided this video update to discuss the topic of racial justice, and specifically Jeh Johnson’s Equal Justice Review of the Unified Court System’s policies and practices. This review culminated in a report released on October 15. Chief Judge DiFiore stated that the first of Secretary Johnson’s recommendations is zero tolerance policy for racial discrimination, which was wholeheartedly embraced by the Chief Judge on behalf of all court system leadership. She notes that the court system will work to implement Secretary Johnson’s recommendations, and to do so, Alphonso David has been called upon to serve as the Independent Monitor to evaluate the reform process.
Turning to court operations, Chief Judge DiFiore reported on the continuing jury trial pilot. Though the pilot has proven successful, court system professionals continue to monitor COVID metrics closely and plan to make necessary adjustments in response to public health developments and guidance.