The Law: Freeing People & Police

Apart from the cost in liberty to the accused, why waste police time and effort detaining petty offenders while they wait for a hearing? New York City police now agree that it makes far more sense simply to give the accused a summons ordering him to appear in court later. Evidence is the Manhattan Summons Project, a pioneering experiment by the Vera Foundation, which is already noted for getting pretrial defendants released on their own recognizance without bail (TIME, July 12, 1964). The summons project is a simple interview system run mostly by law students. For example, a young woman garment...

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