Man Has Been Waiting 7 Years at Rikers for a Trial

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A sign of Rikers Island, where IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be held, is pictured in Queens, New York on May 16, 2011. A New York judge denied IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn bail on Monday, despite an offer from his defense team to put up $1 million in cash and surrender all his travel documents. The judge ordered the IMF chief detained, two days after he was pulled off a plane and accused of trying to rape a Manhattan hotel chambermaid. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Carlos Montero was sent to Rikers Island when he was 17. Seven years later, he is still waiting for a trial. Montero allegedly took part in a robbery in 2008 that left a man dead and another injured; Montero denies that he was even there.

New York has a law that is supposed to make sure prisoners get a trial within 180 days — but murder trials are exempt. 

Montero has, unsuccessfully, tried to uncouple his trial from those of his alleged accomplices. “I’m depressed in here. I just want to go home,’’ he told the New York Post, which first reported on Montero’s case. The Post asked him about Kalief Browder, who committed suicide earlier this month. Browder, sent to Rikers as a teenager, waited three years for a trial on a crime he was eventually cleared of. “I don’t think about killing myself because I love myself,” Montero said. “I still think I can get justice.”

The New York Times reported earlier this year that more than 400 prisoners have been waiting for at least two years at Rikers without yet being convicted of a crime.