Friday, May 6, 2011: This morning in Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal 320 Jay Street Part 20, Room 4.25, Meir Dascalowitz appeared as the first case on the calendar before the Honorable Judge Miriam Cyrulnik. The prosecutor informed the judge that two psychiatrists have evaluated the defendant, and declared him unfit to proceed
This is not to be confused with someone being declared “not guilty for reasons of insanity”. This is not a medical diagnosis, it is merely a legal term, (see explanation). What happens at such a psychiatric evaluation is, the defendant is asked some question to see if he understands the logistics of the case. Sample questions are, “Do you know the role of a prosecutor”, and “do you know what you are accused of”, etc.
Although it is quite painful for the victim and their families, and the supporters to fathom how a dirty criminal can claim to be so stupid that he does now know what he is guilty of, despite his alleged excellent verbal skills in both Yiddish and English, it is important to not how this case is scheduled to continue.
By law, as soon as a report is submitted claiming the defendant unfit to proceed, they must immediately be remanded into a state mental facility, pretty much like a jail. Then, with lots of medication and psychiatric intervention, the person then gets declared later ‘fit to proceed’ and the case continues back in criminal court. In the event that the person does not get cleared, then they remain in that facility until the sentencing. It is highly unusual for a criminal to remain in such a facility for very long, and the longest we heard of was 8 years for one particular case.
Because the report was not submitted to court today, the bail was continued. However, the return date was set for 4/27/2011, in three weeks. The ADA Kevin O’Donnel representing the Office of the District Attorney of Kings County, did state that the report should be in the court’s possession by next week, at which point the defendant will be immediately placed into the state facility.
This morning, all survivors can breathe easier, knowing that one more pedophile will be off the streets for sure, very soon. With support from community members, more victims will be encouraged to come forward and hope for healing, and prosecution of these low criminals. Nobody deserves to go through this alone.
Thank you to all who have participated in court to support the victims and their family members. Yasher Koach to the Voices of Justice, JBAC, Rabbi Chaim Dweck, CALA NY, and all others, who made an effort to show up.