New York City District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D), the prosecutor behind charges against former President Donald Trump, has built a record of dropping felony charges, decreasing felony convictions, downgrading felonies to mere misdemeanors, and not bothering to request bail for suspects accused of felonies.
Bragg has only been in office since the beginning of 2022 — running on a promise to not prosecute suspects for marijuana misdemeanors, turnstile jumping, trespassing, driving with a suspended license, prostitution, resisting arrest for non-criminal offenses, and obstructing the work of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
Though the establishment media has sought to distance Bragg from billionaire George Soros, the far-left prosecutor enjoyed major support from the Color of Change PAC in his 2021 bid. Soros gave the PAC some $1 million at the time and Soros’s relatives donated directly to Bragg.
In his short tenure as District Attorney of Manhattan, Bragg has helped weigh the city’s justice system overwhelmingly toward suspects over victims and law enforcement.
Downgrading Felony Charges
Data published last year revealed that Bragg’s office downgraded the majority, 52 percent, of felony cases to misdemeanors ensuring that suspects faced minor charges despite initially being accused of felonious crimes.
For comparison, just 39 percent of felony cases in Manhattan were downgraded to misdemeanors in 2019. Even as former District Attorney Cyrus Vance (D) advanced a far-left agenda, the number of felony cases downgraded to misdemeanors never exceeded 40 percent under his watch.
The skyrocketing number of felony charges downgraded to misdemeanors is in line with Bragg’s campaign promises.NYPD
Immediately after taking office, Bragg sent a memo to Manhattan District Attorney staff urging them to downgrade felony charges like armed robberies to misdemeanor petty larceny so that suspects will not spend more than a year in prison if convicted.
In one example from June 2022, Bragg offered a sweetheart deal to Marcus Wright who was initially charged with grand larceny after robbing almost $1,400 worth of merchandise from a boutique in downtown Manhattan.
Wright, who had 36 arrests on his criminal record at the time, was allowed to plead down to misdemeanor petty larceny and subsequently freed from police custody. Less than a month later, Wright was arrested for randomly punching a woman in the face. For the assault, Wright was freed without bail thanks to New York state’s bail reform law which Bragg supports.
Declining to Prosecute Felonies
In 2022, Bragg’s office refused to prosecute more than 1,100 felony cases in Manhattan.
This represents a 35 percent increase in felony cases that the District Attorney’s office has declined to prosecute compared to 2019 when prosecutors declined to prosecute fewer than 830 felony cases.
Even in felony cases where Bragg’s office did prosecute suspects, only about half were convicted and just 1,210 suspects convicted received a prison sentence.NYPD / BODY CAMS+ /TMX
In comparison, in 2019, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office saw suspects convicted 68 percent of the time in felony cases with nearly 1,700 receiving a prison sentence. This means that under Bragg, felony convictions are down almost 30 percent and convicted felons going to prison were down 34 percent.
Bragg’s office has also slashed the conviction rate for suspects accused of misdemeanors. Last year, only 29 percent of suspects charged with misdemeanors were convicted compared to 53 percent in 2019 — an almost 60 percent drop.
Likewise, just 522 suspects convicted of misdemeanors were sentenced to prison as opposed to more than 2,400 sentenced to prison time after a misdemeanor conviction in 2019.
Springing Suspects from Jail
Bragg has relied on New York state’s bail reform law to spring suspects from jail without them ever having to pay bail.
As part of Bragg’s agenda, he asked his office to only seek pre-trial detention and prison sentences for crimes like homicide, public corruption, sex crimes, domestic violence felonies, or causing physical harm using a deadly weapon.
The result has been a dramatic increase in suspects getting released from jail almost immediately after allegedly committing felonies.
In 2022, for instance, Bragg’s office requested bail for felony suspects in only 49 percent of cases. Compare that to three years prior when bail was requested in 69 percent of felony cases.
Last July, Bragg defended his decision to spring from jail without bail a 15-year-old suspect accused of violently attacking an NYPD officer. The officer was dragged, put in a chokehold, and repeatedly punched, all caught on camera, by the teenage boy.
Bragg, in November 2022, took extensive measures to throw out convictions for cases linked to NYPD misconduct. The move saw nearly 200 convictions from 2001 to 2016 thrown out with some suspects getting sprung from prison as a result.
Thanks to the state’s bail reform law, those charged with misdemeanors are released from jail in the majority of circumstances.
Also last year, Bragg’s office charged two Mexican drug cartel smugglers with misdemeanors after they were found with $1.2 million worth of crystal meth. The charges meant that both suspects were freed from jail without bail.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.