CJ Griffin Quoted in NJ Spotlight News Regarding New Jersey Supreme Court’s Ruling in Compassionate Release Case
CJ Griffin, Partner and Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in a NJ Spotlight News article, “Compassionate Release at Judge’s Discretion, NJ’s Top Court Rules.” The article discusses the New Jersey Supreme Court’s recent decision in State v. A.M., in which the Court held that the Compassionate Release Act gives judges the discretion to deny compassionate release to persons who otherwise meet the medical and safety requirements of the Act, but only where there are “extraordinary circumstances.”
The Stein Public Interest Center represented the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey as amicus curiae. Griffin wrote the amicus brief and Raymond M. Brown argued before the Court. Griffin said the decision still will lead to some inmates remaining incarcerated, forcing state taxpayers to pay for their care.
“Although we are thankful that the Court provided detailed factors to ensure that the decision to deny compassionate release isn’t subject to the whims of any particular trial court judge and that the Court stressed a denial should be only in exceptional circumstances, this decision still means that some fully qualified petitioners will die in prison and the taxpayers will carry the very heavy financial burden of their medical care, even though there was a judicial finding that they pose no safety threat if they are released,” Griffin said.