January 01, 2018 GPSolo

Veterans Treatment Courts

Savannah Potter-Miller

On February 8, 2014, Jerome Murdough, a 56-year-old homeless veteran with service in the U.S. Marine Corps, was arrested in New York City for trespassing after he curled up in an enclosed stairwell on the roof of a Harlem public housing project because it was extremely cold. He was not taken to a shelter but arrested, put through a court arraignment, and, a few hours after his arrest, transported to Manhattan Criminal Court’s central booking for processing. There, the arresting officer met with an assistant district attorney assigned to a regular shift in the Early Case Assessment Bureau, who recommended a bond of $3,500 (because the homeless veteran had several failure-to-appear charges), evaluated the case, and decided to charge Murdough with a crime. The arraignment judge ordered bail of $2,500 cash or bond and reset the case for 19 days later so the defense counsel could prepare pretrial motions.

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