The law-loving, citizens-first government of New York is at it again.
According to data compiled by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, district attorneys across the state declined to prosecute accused felons in 2020 at nearly twice the rate of 2019, resulting in more than 6,500 accused felons being loosed upon society.
Prosecutors dropped all charges in 16.9 percent of the 38,635 felony cases last year. In 2019, the rate of disposition was just 8.7 percent and the average for 2016 to 2019 was even lower at 8 percent. The lefties love to double down, don’t they?
The total number of felony cases in 2020 was less than the 69,119 from 2019, but the percentage of cases dropped without prosecution was higher. Some of the disparity in numbers is attributed to court closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
An unnamed law enforcement source told the New York Post there were “a lot of layers to the problem,” including veteran prosecutors retiring or leaving for other jobs and “inexperienced [prosecutors] and cops making it harder to do trials.”
There is also the inherently political nature of a DA’s job.
“The DAs are worried about getting re-elected,” the source said. “Plus, you throw in a bucket of ‘woke’ and no one is getting prosecuted.”
The source also pointed to difficulties imposed by a 2020 discovery reform law put into place by the state legislature and now-unemployed former governor, Andrew Cuomo.
“Now, if someone takes a plea, you still have to provide the discovery information even though the case is closed,” the source told the paper. “Before, you didn’t have to. If you DP [decline to prosecute] a case, there is no discovery.”
Bronx DA Darcel Clark took the gold for most felony cases dropped at 2,408 or 28.5 percent. Other dishonorable mentions included Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, who declined to prosecute 2,206 cases, or 17.8 percent, and in Manhattan, outgoing DA Cyrus Vance Jr. declined to prosecute 11.7 percent of the cases disposed of last year, up from 7.6 percent in 2019.
Felony dispositions from only two of the boroughs did not reach double digits, though they did increase. In Queens, under DA Melinda Katz, the number was 9.9 percent, up from 5 percent in 2019, and on Staten Island, under DA Michael McMahon, it was 8.2 percent, up from 4.8 percent.
The NY DAs had a lot of help from activist judges, too.
Another 2,365 cases, or 28 percent, were dismissed by judges in the Bronx, while in Brooklyn, judges dismissed more than twice as many at 5,335 or 42.9 percent.
In 2019, prison sentences were handed down in only 7 percent of cases, and jail sentences in 7.2 percent of cases.
Just 7.4 percent of defendants 18 and older were convicted of felonies and 10.5 percent were convicted of misdemeanors in 2020, compared to 12.1 percent and 17.1 percent, respectively, in 2019.
And only 3.8 percent of cases that began as felonies resulted in judges sending criminals to prison for a year or more or to jail for shorter terms during 2020.
Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD detective sergeant and adjunct professor at the city’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was enraged by the situation, saying, “There’s so many people that will lose their lives because of that.”
“Eventually, it’s all going to backfire,” he said, adding, “The pendulum will swing back the other way, and they’ll stop electing people who are pretending to be a district attorney in name only.”
Bronx DA spokeswoman Denisse Moreno declared, “We prosecute cases when there is legally sufficient evidence. We decline to prosecute or defer prosecution in cases where police may need to gather more evidence or secure the cooperation of witnesses so that the case can move forward. It is our duty as prosecutors to ethically assess each arrest as it comes in and determine if it is legally sufficient to proceed.”
One wonders if that inspection of ethics considers victims as well, or just criminals.
A McMahon spokeswoman declined to comment and none of the spokespersons for the other DAs’ offices immediately returned requests for comment by the NY Post.
A spokesman for the Office of Court Administration also declined to comment on behalf of the city’s judiciary.
Top notch, everybody. Top notch.
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