June 18, 1992
Digest: A judge may express an opinion publicly as to the actions of a local Conditional Release Commission generally, but should not mention the names of any specific defendants nor discuss pending cases.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.4.
A judge who has sentenced criminal defendants to incarceration asks whether the judge may publicly state his or her opinion about the actions of a local Conditional Release Commission, established pursuant to Article 12 of the Correction Law, which has released certain defendants sentenced by the judge to incarceration and placed them on a type of parole status.
A judge may express his or her opinion publicly as to actions and policies of the Commission in general, without mentioning the names of any specific defendants. The judge also should refrain from discussing any pending cases. The remaining questions are questions of law, not ethics, and the Committee does not answer them.