WNYC: Bronx DA Has Highest Decline-to Prosecute Rate in City

23 Aug

In an alarming two-part investigation on WNYC this week, Ailsa Chang reports that under Robert Johnson, the Bronx’s district attorney for the last 23 years, the borough has the highest “decline-to-prosecute’ rate in the city. Johnson’s office says that by focusing just on cases where victims are willing to talk within 24 hours after an arrest, they can nail more criminals.

But the data shows that’s simply not true.

According to the Chang’s report: While the Bronx has the highest decline-to-prosecute rate in the city, for 13 of the last 16 years, state records show that it has had the lowest jury conviction rate for D.A. Robert Johnson’s entire 23-year tenure, except for one year.

in 2011, the Bronx D.A. declined to prosecute in 23 percent of cases, far higher than the next borough on the list, Staten Island, where prosecutors let 12 percent of possible criminals off the hook.

Here are links to the first and second reports.

And here’s an interview with Ailsa Chang on the Brian Lehrer show yesterday.

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