New York County’s new DA has ordered his prosecutors to stop seeking prison sentences for hordes of criminals and to downgrade felony charges in cases including armed robberies and drug dealing, according to a set of progressive policies made public Tuesday.
One of the policies will mean that cop killers will no longer face a sentence of life without parole.
In his first memo to staff on Monday, Alvin Bragg said his office “will not seek a carceral sentence” except with homicides and a handful of other cases, including domestic violence felonies, some sex crimes and public corruption, the New York Post reports.
“This rule may be excepted only in extraordinary circumstances based on a holistic analysis of the facts, criminal history, victim’s input (particularly in cases of violence or trauma), and any other information available,” the memo reads.
Assistant district attorneys must also now keep in mind the “impacts of incarceration,” including whether it really does increase public safety, potential future barriers to convicts involving housing and employment, the financial cost of prison and the racial disparities over who gets time, Bragg instructed.
In cases where prosecutors do seek to put a convict behind bars, the request can be for no more than 20 years for a determinate sentence, meaning one that can’t be reviewed or changed by a parole board.
“The Office shall not seek a sentence of life without parole,” the memo states.
Under state law, a sentence of life without parole is reserved for the most heinous of murderers, including terrorists, serial killers, cop killers, and people who kill children younger than 14 during in connection with sex crimes or torture.