Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Justice delayed is justice denied in slow New Jersey courts

The unmarked entrance to the polling place in Hackensack's Fairmount School, where poll workers far outnumbered voters early this afternoon. In the primary election, Democrats and Republicans chose candidates for president, House of Representative, convention delegates and county offices.


If the federal criminal trial in the George Washington Bridge case actually starts on Sept. 12 in Newark, that will be a few days past the three-year anniversary of the politically motivated lane closures in Fort Lee.

And that's a big "if," because U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman told The Record he didn't think an appeals court ruling on a conspirators list "is going to decide it," suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court may get involved (A-1 and A-6).

Meanwhile, two men who were racing Ferraris in the Meadowlands on May 13, 2012, just pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging them in the death of a Kinnelon man whose motorcycle was hit head-on (L-1).

And to fully realize how slow our court system is just take a look at the timeline in the battle to provide affordable housing since landmark New Jersey Supreme Court rulings in 1975 and 1983 (A-1 and A-6).

Our glacial court system, with layers of possible appeals, enriches lawyers, and often denies justice to plaintiffs and victims.

Today's front page

Editor Deirdre Sykes' front page does little to advance the cause of justice, serving up two long stories on the Mount Laurel rulings and the endless appeals since the Bridgegate indictments (A-1).

Most of the page is taken up by a lame feature on flag football.

Hackensack news?

The first Business page today carries the second story on Hackensack's Main Street in a few days, this one about the closing of a mom-and-pop jewelry store (L-7).

On Page 1, a brief on the closing of Gold Ray Jewelers carries this headline:

"Main Street losing more of its sparkle"

That's rich, coming from a publisher who has never acknowledged how the 2009 closing of North Jersey Media Group and Record headquarters on River Street devastated the city where the Borg family prospered for more than 110 years.

Whose health?

In Better Living today, the YOUR HEALTH feature contains little of interest to the vast majority of readers, who are older or retired (BL-3).

The major piece is about millennials and their suicidal eating habits. 

Two briefs involve the health of children with and without autism.

The Better Living front promotes three recipes with goat cheese -- the kind of full-fat, artery clogging dairy most readers try to avoid like the plague (BL-1).

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