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Hundreds of prosecutors in New York are leaving district attorneys’ offices amid controversy criminal justice reform.
This year, 65 assistant district attorneys, or about 12 percent of the staff, have gone to Manhattan Attorney General Alvin Bragg’s office.
Bragg published a note on the third day of his tenure in which he ordered prosecutors not to seek imprisonment for a number of crimes and to reduce charges, including robbery and theft in commercial stores.
The situation in Manhattan reflects the situation in Brooklyn, where 67 prosecutors – about 13% – resigned from the office of Attorney Eric Gonzalez as of June 17, three more left only last Thursday, according to the New York Post. In 2020, 84 resigned and 94 resigned in 2021. Fifty-nine prosecutors resigned in the Bronx from this year to May.
The resignations come amid reforms in state criminal justice, which some have criticized as too severe.
In 2019, New York City adopted identification requirements that required attorneys to provide defense with a large amount of material in a short period of time.
Joan Ilucy-Orbon, Fr. a former assistant district attorney for Manhattan and the chief justice who prosecuted Harvey Weinstein told the New York Post that such rules “cripple our lawyers”.
“You become an employee of the case, not a court lawyer,” she said, citing an example of how every officer should film a video camera during a protest when there are allegations of an offense.
“It’s insanity,” she added. “Most of them are absolutely irrelevant and in no way relevant to the issues of the case.”
The description of Illusion-Orbon’s state reforms was echoed by former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bibb, who told Fox News in January, that Brag’s note downgrades crimes such as armed robbery as “definition of insanity”.
Rebecca Rosenberg of Fox News contributed to this report.