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.
- 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.”