Not Seeking Prison Sentences For Serious Crimes Has Worked So Well In San Francisco, Manhattan’s DA Will Do The Same

The title is sarcastic: that is the proverbial flat learning curve above.

The “woke” DA of the City by the Bay’s policies have contributed to turning San Francisco into such a crime-ridden hell-hole that even its uber-progressive mayor, London Breed, has metaphorically cried “uncle.” So, naturally, the new DA for Manhattan, ushered into office just as the city has a new mayor who pledged to be tough on crime, wants to follow a similarly lenient policy regarding criminals….and New York is already suffering from its worst crime wave since the Seventies.

What could go wrong?

In his introductory memo to his staff this week, Alvin Bragg announced that his office “will not seek a carceral sentence” except for murder and a handful of other cases, including domestic violence felonies, some sex crimes and public corruption.

This rule may be varied, the new law enforcer-in-chief says, “only in extraordinary circumstances based on a holistic analysis of the facts, criminal history, victim’s input (particularly in cases of violence or trauma), and any other information available.” He also directs his assistant district attorneys  to consider the “impacts of incarceration,” including whether it really does increase public safety, whether being imprisoned might pose potential future barriers to convicts obtaining housing and employment, the financial cost of prison and especially the racial disparities in imprisonment, which, as one must suspect, the primary motivation behind the DA’s edict. Systemic racism, you know.

But wait—there’s more! In cases where prosecutors seek a prison sentence, the requested punishment can be for no more than 20 years for a sentence that can’t be reviewed or changed by a parole board. Among the benefiting defendants from that limitation will be terrorists, serial killers, cop killers and murderers of children younger than 14 in connection with sex crimes or torture.

Bragg’s memo also contained these directives for prosecutors designed to reduce charges filed by police:

  • Armed robbers who use guns or other deadly weapons to rob stores and other businesses will be prosecuted only for petty larceny, a misdemeanor, provided no victims were seriously injured and there is no “genuine risk of physical harm” to anyone. Armed robbery, a class B felony that would typically be punishable by a maximum of 25 years in prison, will now be subject to the penalty reserved for petty larceny offenders: no more than a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Convicted criminals caught with weapons other than guns  currently a third degree, a class D felony punishable by up to 7 years behind bars will have those felony charges downgraded to misdemeanors unless they’re also charged with more serious offenses.
  • Burglars who steal from residential storage areas, parts of homes that aren’t “accessible to a living area” and businesses located in mixed-use buildings will be prosecuted for a low-level class D felony that only covers break-ins instead of for more serious crimes that would normally be punishable by up to 25 and up to 15 years in prison respectively. 
  • Drug dealers believed to be “acting as a low-level agent of a seller” will be prosecuted only for misdemeanor possession. Also, suspected dealers will only be prosecuted on felony charges if they’re also accused of more serious crimes or are actually caught in the act of selling drugs.

The fact that similar ‘kinder, gentler” prosecution policies have led to disaster in Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and, of course, San Francisco appear to have made no impact at all on Bragg, who is clearly intent on following magical thinking rather than reality. Facts, after all, don’t matter in the age of the Great Stupid. How many law-abiding citizens and vulnerable Americans will suffer because of another DA’s dedication to comforting progressive fantasy? We shall see.

Meanwhile, here is how the left-biased Daily News described Bragg’s announcement in a Google headline summary: “New Manhattan DA
Alvin Bragg won’t pursue some minor cases.”

You know…

11 thoughts on “Not Seeking Prison Sentences For Serious Crimes Has Worked So Well In San Francisco, Manhattan’s DA Will Do The Same

  1. Agh! I can hardly press the “Like” button on this sickening news. That New Yorkers elected this man seems clear evidence that God has given us over to a reprobate mind.
    With grief I say, we’ve gotten the leadership we deserve. We’ve boastfully rejected every one of God’s laws. He does not forget the utter celebration here when infanticide was legalized.
    Throw God’s laws to the wind and have your fill of lawlessness.
    Well written as usual Jack, thank you for expounding on these critical issues.

  2. Jack, thank you once again. Crime here in Chicago is a *continual* worry, and a daily subject of abject-toned discussion between me and two of my three brothers, one of whom is the elected GOP prosecutor in suburban DuPage County. He “takes no prisoners”: he prosecutes violent crime out there to the fullest, unlike here in Cook County. Many of the criminals he nails are from Chicago, but they are the stupider criminals, because it’s somewhat common knowledge that if they commit the same crime in Cook County (e.g. carjacking) they will be treated with “compassion” not incarceration.

    What to do about this disease of “wokeness” in the criminal justice system? Can Mayors really make a difference? I keep telling my brothers that we must work to unseat our Cook County State’s attorney (and by extension that’s true in big cities generally). Alas she is entrenched within the Democratic establishment here. But it seems to me that focusing on unseating these “progressive prosecutors” is the most fruitful strategy.

  3. These policies are…. bizarre. Not just from a functional standpoint… But from a political one too. The question has to be asked at some point: “Which constituents want these policies?”, and “What does this do to my long term electability?”.

    I’m sure that there is a progressive base actively clamoring for something like this, and that clamoring will last until the first armed home invasion that takes place in the suburb they live in. But real people, people on the ground, people that will be impacted by this… They don’t want the cops to go away. They might prefer a better caliber of officer, they might want a more compassioned, less knee-jerk police force, but they don’t want the city sending social workers to drive-by shootings, and they don’t want drive-by shooters released on their own recognizance. And when enough people feel unsafe, when one too many grandmothers or children get gunned down, what does that do to their electability?

    They’re addicted to this narrative like the most potent of opioids, consequences be damned, as if the knowledge that at least the prison system in their community has racial equity in prisons would be anything other than the coldest of comforts to the murdered. They just don’t care. To borrow a phrase from them, it’s like cruelty is the point.

    • Given the Democrats’ push to re-enfranchise convicted felons, maybe criminals are simply a constituency the party and its professional political advisors and pollsters have decided to target. Maybe they should issue bumper stickers that say “I’m a criminal. And I vote!”

  4. It’s kind of cool, though. If you don’t like the laws, just redefine the laws/crimes you don’t like and, POOF!, the crime problem goes away. Society suffers, but crime stats go way down. Or, something.


  5. But what does it say about us, that you felt it necessary to say “The title is sarcastic.”? I think your readers (well, most of us) understand sarcasm, irony, satire, etc. [Many of the commenters demonstrate they know how to use it, as well.]

  6. Lawyer living in my former suburb of Minneapolis (small suburb of less that 20,000 people) recounted that his car was recently struck by a driver.

    Driver had no insurance.

    Police did not ticket the driver. Apparently, the instructions are not to ticket such things because (fill in the blank: systemic racism, disparate impact, , etc., though I am not sure the woman driver was a minority in this case).

    So, he has to sue to get a judgment against someone who is probably judgment-proof.

    Then, he gets the police report and, big surprise, driver had a revoked license.

    I don’t know if that will get the City to charge her, but a lot of times (not always, but a lot of times) the small stuff reveals more serious issues.

    I told him to raise hell with the City, but we will see if that happens.


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