Hundreds of plaintiffs in New York City are leaving the district attorney’s office amid controversial criminal justice reforms.
The office of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has bled to 65 assistant district attorneys this year, about 12% of the staff.
Bragg issued a memo to the office on the third day, ordering prosecutors not to serve prison sentences for a number of crimes and to reduce charges – including robberies and commercial burglary.
The situation in Manhattan is similar to that in Brooklyn, where 67 prosecutors – approximately 13% – have resigned from the office of DA Eric Gonzalez by June 17, with three others left alone last Thursday, according to the New York Post. In 2020, 84 people resigned and in 2021, 94 people left. In the Bronx, 59 prosecutors have resigned since May this year.
Former prosecutors called Manhattan Da’s soft-on-crime policies‘ Definition of madness‘
The resignations come amid state criminal justice reforms that some have criticized for being too harsh.
In 2019, New York adopted a search requirement that ordered attorneys to deliver large amounts of material for defense in less time.
Despite the new mayor’s promise to tackle rising crime, Manhattan Da passed a number of abusers
John Iluzi-Urban, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan and head of the trial division prosecuting Harvey Weinstein, told the New York Post that such rules “are crippling our lawyers.”
“You become a file clerk instead of a lawyer in a lawsuit,” she said, citing the example of how to create bodycam footage of each officer during a protest if there are false allegations.
“It’s crazy,” she continued. “Most are completely irrelevant and have nothing to do with the issues in the case.”
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Elliott-Urban’s description of state reforms was echoed by Daniel Bibb, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan, who told Fox News in January that Bragg’s memo reduced crimes such as armed robbery to “definition of madness.”
Rebecca Rosenberg of Fox News contributed to this report.