Monday, February 3, 2020

SDNY Judge Deborah Batts Passes Away After Pathbreaking Career of Service From NYC to Ghana

By Matthew Russell Lee, PatreonBBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source
SDNY COURTHOUSE, Feb 3 – Path-breaking Judge Deborah A. Batts has passed away, Inner City Press has learned. Judge Batts had been hearing cases in her 24th floor courtroom in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York right until the end, see below.
   Judge Batts was nominated by President William J. Clinton in 1994 and was sworn in as a judge on June 23, 1994 by the Honorable Lawrence W. Pierce of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Judge Batts received her undergraduate degree from Radcliffe College in 1969 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1972 where she served on the editorial board of the Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review. Upon graduation, she clerked for Judge Pierce, then a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York.  In 1973, Judge Batts became an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in the litigation department. In 1979, she became an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York in the Criminal Division. In 1984, Judge Batts joined the faculty at Fordham University School of Law; she became a tenured Associate Professor of Law in May, 1990. While at Fordham, Professor Batts taught Property, Legal Research and Writing, Federal Criminal Pre-Trial Procedure, Domestic Relations and an advanced Domestic Relations Seminar on Non-Traditional Families. Judge Batts resigned her tenure when she went on the bench in 1994, but continues to teach at Fordham as an Adjunct Professor.  From 1973 to the present, Judge Batts has been a member of various bar associations including The Bar Association of the City of New York, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and the Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Greater New York (LeGal). In addition, she has served on various committees of these associations as well as on the Boards of several educational institutions. Judge Batts was awarded an honorary degree by CUNY School of Law in 1998. She is currently a member of the CUNY School of Law Board of Visitors.  In 1990-91, she served as Special Associate Counsel of the Department of Investigation of the City of New York. From 1990 to 1994, Judge Batts was a Commissioner on the Law Revision Commission, State of New York.  In June, 2001, Judge Batts was a Team Member of the Crowley Program in International Human Rights’ Mission to Ghana, West Africa to observe the impact on the status of women in the area of inheritance of PNDCL 111, passed in 1985.  Rest in Peace.
  Inner City Press was covering the SDNY Magistrates Court on February 3 when it learned the sad news, from several sources in receipt of the news from the Chief Judge, and then confirmed it on another floor before this publication. Batts' passing follows that of also groundbreaking Judge Robert W. Sweet. His cases were re-assigned, as will be Judge Batts, including the second Michael Avenatti case in SDNY.
  A sample December 2019 proceeding: when Dejon Jackson appeared to plead guilty to and be sentenced on Violations of Supervised Release, the first time Judge Deborah A. Batts of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered that the VOSR specification against him be corrected.
    On December 17, there were still errors, including the date of the incident constituting a VOSR, attempted possession of a weapon in the third degree under New York State Penal Law, Section 110/265.02(1).
    Judge Batts admonished Probation, but agreed to take Dejon Jackson's guilty plea. The guideline sentence was eight to 14 months, and that is what Assistant US Attorney Kristy J. Greenberg pushed for.  
Jackson's lawyers, Marne L. Lenox and Peggy Cross-Goldenberg, Federal Defenders' Director of Training, urged four months, citing classes he has taken and completed in the last two months in the Metropolitan Correctional Center.   
AUSA Greenberg responded with a litany of violations in state custody including an altered razor.

   Judge Batts imposed a sentence of six months, conditioned on Jackson having no more disciplinary issues so that he can attend his sister's high school graduation. Call it the carrot and the stick. It was a personalized sentencing, as provided for under Section 3553a. The case is US v. Jackson, 11-cr-265 (Batts). Rest in peace.