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Ceremonial launch for Veterans Court

Military tanks, a marching band and a Marine Corps honor guard will be on hand at Nassau Supreme Court in Mineola on Thursday, as officials celebrate the opening of a specialized courtroom for veterans.

Nassau County Administrative Judge Anthony Marano, New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and former state Chief Judge Sol Wachtler are scheduled to speak. The event will begin 11 a.m. in the central jury room of the court at 100 Supreme Court Dr., court officials said.

The idea behind the "veterans court" is to identify veterans whose crimes — usually nonviolent — are related to mental health or substance abuse issues they developed as a result of their service, court officials have said.

Veterans who are found to be eligible for the court would be given the chance to plead guilty and get treatment for the underlying causes of their problem rather than be sent to jail.

It will be the eighth such court to open statewide.


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