Suspected felons have Walked Free in HALF of cases since Alvin Bragg took office
City’s worst criminals roam the streets
- Sharp decline in cases that Manhattan DA asks for suspects to be held on bail
- Means more are released unconditionally before trial, allowing them to reoffend
- Trend fuels view of Bragg as ‘soft-on-crime’ and follows criticism by victims
Suspected felons have walked free in half of cases since Alvin Bragg took office, sparking fears that some of New York’s worst criminals still roam the streets, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The proportion of cases in which the Manhattan DA’s office has not asked for felony suspects to be held on bail has more than doubled since 2018, according to its own data.
It has sparked fears that more suspects will be released before trial, leaving them free to reoffend.
Campaigners have accused officials of ‘a depraved indifference to human life’ and pointed to a spate of recent cases in which suspects have been released without bail before going on to commit heinous crimes.
DailyMail.com’s findings come amid a row over New York’s lax bail rules – the most liberal in the US – which have been repeatedly blasted for being soft on crime.
The Manhattan DA’s office has asked that felony suspects be held on bail in just half of cases so far this year, down from 77 percent in 2018 and 86 percent a decade ago
The Manhattan DA’s office is also turning away more cases since Bragg took charge in 2022
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has been slammed as soft-on-crime by victims, Democrats and law enforcement officials. DailyMail.com has unearthed a trove of data that underlines their point.
These have tied Bragg’s hands in many cases, leaving fewer cases eligible for bail.
But he can still exercise discretion – and experts have suggested his political leanings may also be behind the decline.
Meanwhile, data shows he is increasingly downgrading felonies to misdemeanors, contributing to fewer cases being bail eligible.
Critics have argued the approach has led to rising recidivism, but the data is fiercely disputed.
Bragg has also come under fire from victims of violent crime in Manhattan, who blasted the DA at a House Judiciary Committee on Monday for his lenient stance on justice.
DailyMail.com’s analysis of Manhattan DA data shows the office has not requested bail for suspected felons in 49 percent of cases so far this year.
In 2018, it was 23 percent.
For misdemeanors, the DA’s office has asked judges to hold suspects on bail in just 7 percent of cases this year, compared to 29 percent in 2018.
Ultimately, a judge decides whether bail is set, but the Assistant DA can request it on select cases.
Bail has been set in 41 percent of felony cases so far this year, compared to 53 percent in 2018, the data shows.
Jennifer Harrison, founder of Victims’ Rights NY, said the decline in requests ‘initiates the leniency towards some of these monsters’.
Harrison, who has campaigned tirelessly on behalf of crime victims since her boyfriend and his best friend were murdered in 2005, said the figures were ‘extremely disheartening from a personal standpoint’.
‘I don’t want others to suffer what I’ve suffered,’ she added. ‘The more they keep releasing recidivists, the greater the chances of someone else falling victim to these people.
‘There is a depraved indifference to human life that is sweeping across the country. All the empathy and compassion has been placed on those who have inflicted pain on others.’
Bragg has downgraded more than half of felony charges to misdemeanors since taking office and issuing a memo on directing staff not to prosecute armed robberies as felonies if the firearm did not ‘create a genuine risk of physical harm’
Bragg arrives at his office in Manhattan on Tuesday following a chastening hearing at the House Judiciary Committee the previous day, in which he was blasted by victims of violent crime over his lenient stance on justice.
In 2019, changes to New York’s bail laws meant it became the only state where judges cannot assess a defendant’s ‘dangerousness’ when setting bail.
Instead, judges must choose the ‘least restrictive’ means to ensure a defendant returns to court, effectively making bail a last resort.
Hannah Meyers, director of policing and public safety at the Manhattan Institute, a think tank, said the fall in bail requests from the DA’s office could be a reflection of these reforms, but added: ‘I would imagine that Bragg’s office and the most progressive offices are not as aggressive at requesting bail as others.’
She said: ‘Certainly, there is a political bent within prosecutors’ offices towards requesting bail or not.
‘The problem is New York created such a hard and fast rule about letting everyone out, that those that pose a danger are now playing on communities because they’re obviously going to reoffend.”
Header featured image (edited) credit: Bragg/Getty Images
Emphasis added by (TLB) editors
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