Staten Island District Legal professional Michael McMahon blasted the soft-on-crime strategy of fellow Democratic prosecutor, Alvin Bragg of Manhattan, who says he’ll spare most crooks jail time and downgrade felony expenses in instances together with armed robberies and drug dealing. In his first memo to workers on Monday, Bragg mentioned his workplace “won’t search a carceral sentence” save for homicides and a handful of different instances, together with home violence felonies, some intercourse crimes and public corruption.
These insurance policies roll out the welcome mat for would-be criminals to commit severe offenses with out ever going through any penalties, and it’s a fantasy to imagine our Metropolis might be safer or fairer consequently.
On Staten Island, the DA’s workplace will proceed to totally prosecute crimes on the deserves of every case, and we are going to by no means institute blanket insurance policies which concurrently disregard the legal guidelines set forth by our state Legislature, ignore the rights of victims, and critically threaten public security as a complete. We can not flip a blind eye to crime or wave a magic wand to make it disappear — this pollyannish pondering is particularly harmful now as shootings and gang violence in our communities in addition to violent incidents in our youngsters’s colleges proceed to hazard the lives of younger folks.
At a time when legislation enforcement is required most to maintain our communities secure, prosecutors and police are basically being faraway from the general public security equation with none alternate options being supplied in our place. The tip outcome might be extra crime, much less accountability, and a lack of justice for victims. That is very true relating to instances involving firearms and harmful weapons.
Due to the seriousness of those crimes, my ADAs are instructed to at all times cost these instances as felonies if warranted by the info and proof, which is what the legislation and public security calls for.
However underneath Manhattan’s new insurance policies, defendants would have expenses towards them dismissed or lowered for a raft of great crimes that my workplace commonly pursues, particularly in instances the place a firearm or weapon is current. If really convicted underneath these new pointers, defendants would nonetheless face the opportunity of much less jail time as prosecutors have been instructed to not search sentences of greater than 20 years. What message does this ship to victims and their households who’ve suffered probably the most heinous crimes and solely wish to see justice?
My workplace is pleased with our document in holding severe criminals accountable, and may level to a number of examples of the place polices resembling these can be disastrous for Staten Island:
- Defendant Michael Cammarata was convicted at trial of second-degree homicide, concealment of a human corpse, and all associated counts for killing his spouse, Jeanine Cammarata, and hiding her stays in a Staten Island storage unit. He was sentenced to greater than 23 years to life in jail.
- Defendant Michael Sykes was sentenced to 2 consecutive phrases of life in jail with out parole for fatally stabbing his girlfriend, Rebecca Cutler and her two child daughters, Ziana Cutler and Maliyah Sykes, and critically injuring her third baby, Miracle Cutler.
- Defendant Courtland Lovelace convicted at trial of sexually abusing two younger kids and endangering a 3rd baby. He was sentenced to 27 years in jail and 7 years’ post-release supervision.
- In a pending case, defendant Demis Pacheco was arrested on March 9, 2020 and charged with Assault 1 for an alleged slashing. We requested bail of $25,000, however the defendant was positioned on Supervised Launch. Simply three months later, the defendant allegedly arrange a transaction to rob one other sufferer, punching the sufferer within the face, and practically operating the sufferer over in his automobile. In that case, we requested $35,000 bail, however bail was set at $5,000. Whereas out on bail in that case, the defendant allegedly focused the identical sufferer, trying to rob him at knifepoint and trying to assault him with a baseball bat. The defendant is at the moment being held on $50,000 bail in the newest case.
- In a pending case, police obtained a name of photographs fired and an outline of a person strolling a pitbull. When police arrived, the defendant, Juan Parrilla, allegedly launched the canine and fled to a house, the place the police finally obtained a search warrant and arrested him for Prison Possession of a Weapon 2 for possessing a loaded firearm. The defendant additionally has an intensive legal document together with 16 complete convictions, 1 of which is a felony and 15 misdemeanor convictions. The defendant additionally has 4 failures to look in Courtroom. On this case, he’s at the moment indicted on CPW 2, a C violent felony. Bail was requested and set at $100,000.
Whereas my workplace takes violent crimes very critically, we additionally acknowledge that incarceration isn’t at all times the reply and we’re proud to supply a wide selection of diversion programming for defendants to handle the underlying causes of their legal conduct resembling with psychological sickness or substance use dysfunction. Actually, roughly 40% of all inclinations contain defendant enrollment in diversion applications.
My ADAs are inspired to judge every case on the deserves and equities, and to contemplate these various to incarceration applications pre-arraignment, post-arraignment, in addition to at sentencing.
On the identical time, we can not sacrifice public security by merely dismissing instances or outright lowering expenses with no consideration for the info. This not solely does a disservice to victims of crime and the general public we try to guard, however it additionally removes any risk for a defendant to be related with companies by means of the legal justice system.
Above all, my job as DA is to guard the folks of the group I symbolize, not make it simpler for criminals to keep away from accountability for his or her actions after they victimize harmless New Yorkers. I worry these new insurance policies from Manhattan and the final disregard for the rule of legislation it exhibits will result in extra crime and make us much less secure, with nobody struggling greater than our weak residents particularly the younger folks of this Metropolis.”