Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has downgraded more than half of his felony cases to misdemeanors as crime continues to escalate in the Big Apple.
Since taking office on January 1, the soft-on-crime DA has downgraded 52 percent of felony cases to misdemeanors compared to 39 percent in all of 2019, according to data published on the DA’s website.
However, under District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., the percentage of cases the office downgraded between 2013 and 2020 did not go over 40 percent.
Bragg, who campaigned last year on a promise of criminal justice reform, issued a controversial ‘Day One’ memo after taking office stating he would only seek prison time in the most severe cases.
That same month, career criminal William Rolon, who faced only misdemeanor charges for threatening a store worker with a knife ,was told by a judge that he should ‘feel lucky’ because of Bragg’s new policies.
Violent crime in the Big Apple has soared by nearly 30 percent from last year.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has downgraded more than half of his felony cases to misdemeanors since taking office on January 1 as crime continues to escalate in the Big Apple
Since taking office on January 1, the soft-on-crime DA has downgraded 52 percent of felony cases to misdemeanors compared to 39 percent in all of 2019, according to new data
In the case that serious charges are brought, the new data revealed that Bragg’s office wins a conviction just 51 percent of the time, which is down from 68 percent in 2019. The court system was then disrupted for a short time due to the pandemic.
The data also revealed that Bragg declined to prosecute 35 percent more felony cases this year than what was prosecuted in 2019. So far, there have been 1,119 in 2022, compared to 828 in 2019.
The DA’s office has only convicted 29 percent of misdemeanors so far this year compared to 68 percent in 2019. Bail has been requested in only 49 percent of felony cases this year compared to 69 percent in 2019.
Bragg has been criticized for his soft-on-crime policies, which include calling on prosecutors to ditch felony armed robbery charges and instead charge suspects with petit larceny and not seeking carceral sentences for criminals.
Critics say these new policies are to blame for an early increase in New York City crime in 2022.
‘The people in charge right now want to talk about gun violence and getting these shootings down,’ Jennifer Harrison, the founder of Victims Rights NY, told the New York Post recently.
‘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 also said that Bragg ‘really needs to stop with the public defender mentality and do his job and enforce the law and prosecute crime correctly.’
Violent crime in the Big Apple has soared by nearly 30 percent from last year
Transit crime and subway incidents skyrocketed this year, despite the MTA being focused on placing more officers at subway stations in recent months, their presence doesn’t always help
Manhattan mother Madeline Brame who lost her Army vet son, Hason Correa, 35, in a 2018 murder told the Post she was ‘traumatized’ by the outcome of the case against the four defendants.
Two got plea deals from Bragg’s office, one pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and the fourth was convicted of gang assault at trial earlier this month.
‘We’re not getting any justice or closure. The victims are just left hung out to dry. There is no consideration for the victims or their families. None,’ Brame said. ‘There should be no plea deals to lesser charges, downgrading of charges, none of that.’
Manhattan mother Madeline Brame who lost her Army vet son, Hason Correa, 35, in a 2018 murder told the Post she was ‘traumatized’ by the outcome of the case against the defendants
In response to the latest numbers, Bragg’s office told the Post that it was still dealing with the impact of the pandemic and working under reforms adopted by the state in 2019. It also contended that not every felony case was correctly classified at arrest, the Post reported.
‘The fact is, we have prosecuted 459 more felonies this year compared to last and we have three times as many gun convictions so far this year compared to all of 2019 … we will continue prosecuting violence drivers and prioritizing safety and fairness in every case,’ spokesman Danielle Filson said.
Career criminal William Rolon who faced only misdemeanor charges for threatening a store worker with a knife, was told by a judge that he should ‘feel lucky’ because of Bragg’s policies
Bragg’s policies include calling on prosecutors to ditch felony armed robbery charges and instead charge suspects with petty larceny and not seeking carceral sentences for criminals
Transit crime and subway incidents have skyrocketed this year, and despite the MTA being focused on placing more officers at subway stations in recent months, their presence doesn’t always help.
Mayor Eric Adams has repeatedly claimed there is only a ‘perception’ that crime is out of control on the subways – even as he and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to better police and monitor the system.
At least twelve people have been shoved in front of a subway train so far this year, at least two fatally.
Even incidents that don’t end fatally often darken transit patrons’ perception of the NYC subway system.
The number of homeless men prowling subway stations has increased dramatically since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite a plan outlined by Mayor Adams to deter homeless people from sheltering in the city’s subway system, the issue has not visibly been mitigated and travelers continue to be harassed and made uncomfortable during their daily commutes.
Adams has said that he and law enforcement are fighting the ‘actual crime’ and that the current average of ‘six crimes a day’ on the subway is merely ‘giving the impression that it is out of control,’ he said.
He said that there are ‘too many guns’ on the streets of New York, but added that the NYPD has done an ‘amazing job’ confiscating thousands of firearms – on and off the subway.