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Teen Released on Bail After Year on Rikers Island Calls for Judicial Reform

(DNAINFO)  Kate Pastor | August 6, 2017 — Pedro Hernandez, the Bronx teen held at Rikers Island for a year on a quarter of a million dollars bail while awaiting trial on gun charges, spoke out Thursday about his time behind bars, saying he hopes his struggle advances the bail reform cause.

“Incarceration at Rikers has been incredibly difficult for me, but it was my family who truly suffered. Being back with them is the greatest gift,” Hernandez said in a statement posted on the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization’s website.

His release came after a court appearance on Wednesday during which the rights organization offered to post Hernandez’s bail and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office agreed to lower the amount from $255,000 for two charges to $100,000.

Hernandez’s case has been likened to Kalief Browder, who committed suicide after being held awaiting trial for a stolen backpack, a crime he insisted he did not commit. Hernandez’s release led to a call by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for bail reform or money bail elimination.

Source: Teen Released on Bail After Year on Rikers Island Calls for Judicial Reform – Concourse – DNAinfo New York