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.
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.