Bronx Prosecutors Kinda Suck At Prosecuting People

Categories: Justice?
If you're gonna break the law, do it in the Bronx -- District Attorney Robert Johnson only prosecutes 75 percent of his cases.
UPDATE: the Bronx District Attorney's Office has provided the Voice with an explanation of its high percentage of unpursued cases, which you can see by clicking here.

Note to self: if you're gonna break the law, do it in the Bronx -- there's a one in four chance you'll walk away scot-free.

A recently released/superb investigative report by WNYC shows that the Bronx District Attorney's Office prosecutes criminals at a dramatically lower rate than any other D.A.'s office in the city, pursuing a mere 76.6 percent of its cases.

For anyone keeping score, that means roughly 24 of every 100 cases is not pursued by the Bronx D.A.

The main reason for the large number of dropped cases is an internal policy within Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson's office that says prosecutors should not pursue a case if the victim doesn't give a statement within 24 hours of an arrest.

No other D.A.'s office in New York has such a policy -- they also have much fewer dropped cases.

Collectively, the four other New York City D.A.'s offices declined to pursue 10.5 of their cases last year, with Staten Island dropping 12.1 percent of its cases and Manhattan dropping 4.8 percent.

Johnson's 24-hour victim statement policy is only part of the problem. The other: apparent laziness.

From the Post:

One street cop told The Post that inexperienced prosecutors bristle at having to actively pursue a case.

"They whine about doing the work. They say, 'I'm not doing it.' I'm like, 'Well this is your job. Go and flip burgers at McDonald's if you don't like it,' " the officer said.

We reached out to Bronx D.A.'s office spokesman Melvin Hernandez for an explanation of his office's poor performance but didn't immediately hear back. We'll let you know if he gets back to us.

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I knew a Bronx prosecutor once; he told me Bronx juries are notorious for not finding anyone guilty of anything!

ashura 1 Like

I thought this was the Village Voice, not the Post. Given the overzealous prosecutions in the criminal justice system, and maybe even worse, the NYPD's often racially biased and constitutional stomping Stop & Frisk practices (Terry stops), I would think that a prosecutor pulling back the reigns a little bit might certainly be a welcome.


But hey, New York's a different place than a few decades ago, and clearly so is the VV, and not necessarily are all the changes welcome ones.

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