New Manhattan DA Stops Seeking Prison Sentences for Most Crimes Then-District Attorney candidate Alvin Bragg speaks during a Get Out the Vote rally at A. Philip Randolph Square in Harlem on Nov. 01, 2021, in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
By Brian Freeman | Wednesday, 05 January 2022 09:53 AM
Manhattan's new district attorney Alvin Bragg has announced a new policy to only seek prison sentences for a handful of offenses, and downgrade or entirely dismiss charges for many felony crimes, the Daily Mail reported.
The Democrat said offenses such as marijuana misdemeanors, prostitution, resisting arrest, trespassing, and subway turnstile jumping will no longer be prosecuted and that prosecutors should not seek bail requirements for suspects awaiting trial.
Bragg said prosecutors should seek prison sentences only in cases of homicides, assaults resulting in serious injury, domestic violence felonies, sex offenses, public corruption, and "major economic crimes."
He added that when prosecutors do seek to put a convict in prison, the request can be for no more than 20 years for a determinate sentence, meaning one that cannot be reviewed or changed by a parole board, according to the New York Post.
Bragg told CBS New York that longer sentences do not deter crime and make society safer. He also emphasized that his reforms will allow attorneys more time to prosecute violent offenses.
New Mayor Eric Adams, a former NYPD police officer who won the election on a campaign vow to crack down on soaring crime in the city, expressed support for Bragg's new policies, the Daily Mail reported.
However, the announcement of the new policies was harshly criticized by the NYPD Detectives’ Endowment Association, with DEA president Paul DiGiacomo bemoaning that "in Bragg’s Manhattan, you can resist arrest, deal drugs, obstruct arrests, and even carry a gun and get away with it," according to the New York Post.
He added that the policies of Bragg's "gives criminals the roadmap to freedom from prosecution and control of our streets."
A Manhattan police supervisor said that "the identical platform has not worked out in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Baltimore," warning that "it will lead to more young lives lost to gang violence and innocent people being hurt."