- The Washington Times - Monday, November 28, 2022

New York County’s top prosecutor has downgraded slightly more than half of all felony cases to misdemeanors in 2022, compared to 39% in 2019, according to new data.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg made criminal justice reform a key part of his 2021 campaign and directed staff to downgrade certain felonies so defendants wouldn’t face as much jail time.

A “day one” memo on downgrading charges resulted in a backlash from city police, and the district attorney backed off some changes.

Data analyzed by Fox News shows Mr. Bragg declined to prosecute 35% more felony cases this year than in 2019.

The numbers also show Mr. Bragg’s office wins a conviction when major felony charges are brought only 51% of the time, a decrease from 68% in 2019.

The data will fuel complaints that a light approach to punishment and state no-bail laws are resulting in a rise in crime.

Many crime categories are up in New York City compared to this time last year, including a 30% jump in robbery and 27% spike in burglary and a 13% increase in felony assault, according to New York Police Department figures. However, murder is down by 12%.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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