Beware would-be Manhattan DAs who think the job is about protecting criminals
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We’ve slammed Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance many times for decisions such as refusing to prosecute fare-beating and other crimes whose cost to society is far more than monetary. But most of the Democratic candidates to succeed him make Vance look like Judge Dredd.
Last week’s NY1 debate featured a clean divide: Candidates Liz Crotty, Tali Farhadian Weinstein and Diana Florence want to protect the public by putting the bad guys on ice, but the rest seem to think the DA’s job is to keep criminals walking free.
Naïve ideologues Dan Quart, Alvin Bragg, Eliza Orlins, Tahanie Aboushi and Lucy Lang want to scale back prosecutions and accelerate decarceration of jails and prisons — reserving prosecution for those they disagree with.
Bragg, an ex-federal prosecutor, bragged that he had ever only prosecuted one misdemeanor — against men who blocked people from going into a Planned Parenthood clinic. Orlins, a public defender, would decriminalize almost all misdemeanors and defund the DA’s office.
Hmm: This week, authorities charged alleged Hoolies street gang member Dashawn Austin in connection with the fatal stray-bullet shooting of 1-year-old Davell Gardner in Brooklyn last summer. Cops didn’t have to go far to find Austin, as he was already at Rikers thanks to charges on an earlier murder, in March 2020.
Look: The Legislature is already rushing to empty the jails, from its still-insane “no bail” law (which even Mayor Bill de Blasio says remains critically flawed) to its recent move to decriminalize prostitution. That madness isn’t the only reason crime is surging, but it’s clearly part of it.
With shootings soaring, the last thing the city needs is a Manhattan DA who wants to accelerate the “no consequences for crime” trend. Yet most of the candidates are trying to win votes by vowing to protect accused criminals, not the public.
Yes, they claim their approach will somehow increase public safety (someday), but that magical thinking only suggests they’ve been taking advantage of pot legalization.
New Yorkers must vote for candidates who prioritize getting crime and disorder back under control or the “city that never sleeps” will be sleeping with the fishes.
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