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People v. James

Criminal Court of the City of New York
415 N.Y.S.2d 342 (1979)


Facts

Audrey James (defendant) was charged with prostitution. James was 21 years old and had not been previously charged with prostitution. James had been attending the American Business Institute, majoring in business administration. Laverne McCray (defendant) was also charged with prostitution. McCray was 23 years old and had also not been previously charged with prostitution. McCray was attending business school and living with her parents. The criminal statutes used to treat a woman engaged in prostitution more harshly than a man patronizing prostitution. The woman was guilty of a class B misdemeanor, but the man was guilty only of a violation. Under that law, the district attorney maintained the practice of permitting a woman charged with prostitution for the first time an adjournment in contemplation of a dismissal. The law was changed to make the crimes equal, and the district attorney stopped offering any plea deals, even to women charged with prostitution for the first time. Without this plea option, James and McCray moved for dismissal in the interests of justice.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gartenstein, J.)

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