Serious Felony & Misdemeanor Convictions in NYC in Downward Spiral Under Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg  - The Jewish Voice
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Serious Felony & Misdemeanor Convictions in NYC in Downward Spiral Under Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg 

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Serious Felony & Misdemeanor Convictions in NYC in Downward Spiral Under Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg 

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As crime continues to spiral out of control in New York City, many have assigned blame for this escalation to the new and controversial bail reforms laws that have been instituted in New York, while others are taking Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to task for his office’s leniency on repeat offenders and those who commit violent crimes.

The New York Post recently reported that Bragg, who has earned a reputation as being soft on crime, has  downgraded more than half his felony cases to misdemeanors — while also managing to lose half of the felony cases that do reach court.

Not even in office for an entire year, Bragg has downgraded 52% of felony cases to misdemeanors, in comparison to 39% in all of 2019, the Post reported.  Between 2013 and 2020, under District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., the percentage of cases the office downgraded had never exceeded 40%, according to data made public by the DA’s office and reported by the Post.

Prior to the emergence of the Covid pandemic in 2019 which disrupted the New York City court system, the former Manhattan DA’s office won convictions 68% of the time for serious felonies brought before court, the Post reported. Now, when felonies are brought to court, Bragg’s office wins a conviction just 51% of the time, the paper reported.

The Post also reported that Bragg has decided not to prosecute 35 percent more felony cases this year than in 2019, with 1,119 so far in 2022 compared to 828 three years ago.

The DA’s office requested bail in only 49% of felony cases this year compared to 69% in 2019, the Post reported and state bail reform measures mean almost no non-violent felonies are eligible for bail now although they were in 2019.

Also heading in a downward direction are misdemeanor convictions in New York City, the Post reported. So far this year, they are down to 29% as compared to 68% in 2019.

Not ashamed of these dismal statistics and having campaigned for his position as the district attorney for Manhattan on a platform of criminal justice reform, Bragg proudly displays the numbers on his web site, the only one of the city’s five district attorneys to do so, the Post reported.

True to his word in the controversial “Day One” memo that he issued after taking office on January 1st of this year, Bragg said and continues to say that he would no longer seek prison sentences in many crimes, would downgrade felony charges in cases including armed robberies and drug dealing, and drop some misdemeanors, according to the report in the Post.

Speaking to the Post, Jennifer Harrison, the  founder of Victims Rights NY, said, “The people in charge right now want to talk about gun violence and getting these shootings down. But I wonder how many of the incidents [where] the charges were downgraded or dismissed or dropped involved guns or weapons, and how are we going to eradicate this kind of violence when people like Alvin Bragg are in charge?”

Harrison added that Bragg “really needs to stop with the public defender mentality and do his job and enforce the law and prosecute crime correctly, “ as was reported by the Post.

To illustrate their point, the Post reported that soon after Bragg issued his “Day One” memo, career criminal William Rolon was arrested for threatening a store worker with a knife and charged only with a misdemeanor, leading a judge to stunningly tell him he should “feel lucky” because of Bragg’s new policies.

The Post reported that so far this year, 1,210 felony cases have resulted in a prison sentence, a 29% drop from 1,699 in 2019. As for misdemeanor cases, the drop was even steeper — 78% — with just 522 resulting in jail compared to 2,413 in 2019.


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