Carlos Montero was arrested as a teen and placed in Rikers Island prison facility. Now 24, this inmate still awaits his initial trial. His incarceration costs taxpayers far more than they realize.
At the age of 17, Montero became an inmate of the famous Rikers Island correctional facility. His induction into the system came along with two other accomplices. With them, Carlos was jailed on murder-related charges.
However, unlike his two friends, Montero chose to fight the case separate from theirs. While his friends fight their trials, Carlos has been awaiting his for approximately seven years now.
According to the New York Post, it mentions that the right to a speedy trial doesn’t apply to murder-based cases. It quotes as follows.
“The state statute that is supposed to guarantee a prisoner’s right to a speedy trial — within 180 days — doesn’t apply to murder cases. There also is a right to a reasonably rapid proceeding under the Sixth Amendment, but the US Constitution doesn’t lay out a timeline.”
The authorities handling the Montero case could very-well feel the pace is “reasonable.” However, other authorities differ in opinion.
Civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby says that the justice department is handling Carlos’ trial unconstitutionally. He says that it’s a clear violation to hold someone in pretrial detention for that length of time.
As it mentions in the same source, taxpayers are paying an unreasonable amount for Carlos Montero’s imprisonment — he hasn’t even gone to trial or been convicted of anything yet.
“The delay also has been a costly hit to taxpayers. According to the city’s Independent Budget Office, the cost of housing one inmate in the city in 2012 was $167,731. That means Montero’s seven-year jail stint has already cost the city more than $1 million.”
Carlos Montero has served an average sentence’s term, and there’s been no sentencing… nor trial. There have been possible hearings, as the source notes that Carlos has appeared before Justice Ronald Zweibel 77 times.
Think of all that’s happened in ur life since 2008. Carlos Montero has spent that entire time at Rikers wo trial https://t.co/It7lMdJ7fy
— Mike Spangenberg (@MikeSpangenberg) June 15, 2015
Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion about Kalief Browder, the man who committed suicide after having spent three years in Rikers without a trial. Though the system broke him, Carlos Montero maintains a different perspective on his proclaimed innocence.
“I’m depressed in here. I just want to go home… I don’t think about killing myself because I love myself. I still think I can get justice…
… I don’t have the heart to kill someone. I wasn’t there. I know I could sue, but no amount of money could get me justice for this. I just want my freedom.”
Montero had been offered a plea deal for 15 years behind bars. However, he didn’t accept it on the basis of his innocence in the matter.
It seems that Montero and Browder aren’t the only Rikers Island inmates awaiting trial. According to the New York Times, over 400 Rikers inmates have two years under their belts, just waiting for initial trials.
“As of late March, over 400 people had been locked up for more than two years without being convicted of a crime, according to city data that is to be released publicly for the first time. And there are currently a half-dozen people at Rikers who have been waiting on pending cases for more than six years.”
That’s a staggering number. What are your thoughts about Carlos Montero and his situation? Feel free to express in the comments, below.
[Photo Credits: Facebook]