Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Manhattan’s (Woke) Chief Prosecutor Calls for a “New Paradigm of Prosecution” — While Pursuing Trump

If Manhattan’s chief prosecutor has her way, the borough will lead the nation toward “new paradigm of prosecution,” according to a report by Fox News Digital.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Meg Reiss, a Democrat, has worked in the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a fellow Democrat, since Jan. 2022.

Yes, that would be the same Manhattan DA’s office that has for the last several weeks loudly issued threats to arrest and indict former President Donald Trump for alleged campaign finance violations in connection with a nondisclosure agreement payment made to an alleged mistress by Trump’s attorney — with Trump’s own money in 2016.

Critics from both sides of the political spectrum have dismissed the effort as an attempt to inflate to a felony what would be at best a misdemeanor violation — falsifying business records to facilitate a pay-off — if the alleged crime’s time under the statute of limitations had not already run out.

But, back to Reiss, who has repeatedly said she is trying to “actually change…an understanding that people have about prosecution,” and their views about violence. Criminals, she’s been quoted, are not necessarily “bad dudes.”

Reiss said the one of the first things those in the justice system must do “is change the language: ‘the bad dude.’ What does that mean? What are the circumstances of that person coming into the criminal justice system in the first place? And what is the background to that person?” she said in a 2017 interview discovered by Fox News Digital.

“And is there a solution, alternative solution for that person other than being incarcerated?” she continued in the interview. :So, I mean, that’s one of the fundamental places we have to start is what does that mean, ‘bad dude?'”

As part of her vision to of radically changing the criminal justice system, Reiss created the Institute for Innovation on Prosecution in 2016 at John Jay College, which works alongside prosecution offices, including the Manhattan DA, to install racial equity reforms based on critical race theory ideology.

Reiss in 2018 reportedly left the institute, which listed her as a leader in numerous reports relating to the initiative’s agenda.

The institute promotes an ideological approach to prosecution that takes historical factors into account. That said, the Institute argued in one report signed with Reiss’ name that prosecutors must focus on “acknowledging our nation’s shameful history of slavery and racism which continues to cloud the criminal justice system.”

As part of this racial equity mission, the institute has also suggested prosecutors intentionally undermine the charges brought forward by police officers.

“Your charging authority gives you the power to check and counterbalance some police actions,” the IIP said. “Recognize the systems that are upstream from your office that may perpetuate racial disparities in the justice system, and take steps in your own office to resist those trends.”

Reiss has said she believes all prosecutors have a “responsibility” to fix “mass incarceration,” what critics of the current legal system assert is the overuse of detention centers in a way that disproportionately affects minorities, even before they’ve been convicted of an offense.

Prosecutors, the institute argues, should only “use all available evidence to prove the case in criminal court” for “serious offenses,” and should selectively choose not to enforce the law on particular crimes.

On the other hand, Reiss seems to hold a different perspective when it comes to allegations of misconduct or excessive force lodged against police officers. In those police-related instances, she said, prosecutors should assume harsher roles to combat “the process… stymied by systemically racist policies and practices…One conclusion seems inescapable: The path towards accountability… must… confront the injustices that arise from systematic racism, both past and present.”

Fox News Digital cites how Reiss has lamented the “1,000 lives… lost at the hands of U.S. law enforcement every year” and criticized “the public, the media and, often, jury pools [who] are inclined to offer the benefit of the doubt to law enforcement while criminalizing those killed.”

Another IIP report, listed under both Reiss’ and Bragg’s names, forwarded the idea there should be one prosecution unit set up solely to focus on charging law enforcement officers.

Reiss has said it’s critical to the shift in how defendants are perceived to recognize “the humanity of each person in front of them and embracing a restorative approach” instead of incarceration.

Reiss believes a “restorative” approach can address some instances of assault. “We know with our assault cases, it’s most often with people who know each other. So we… really think restorative practice is the answer now.”

Mike Gonzalez of the conservative Heritage Foundation expands that “restorative practices” is the solution to the “systemic racism” that critical race theorists claim plagues America.

Bragg’s office released a statement to Fox News Digital which said, “Reiss is a former homicide prosecutor who has worked collaboratively with all stakeholders throughout the criminal justice system and has been in public service for decades. She is a widely respected attorney who ensures every case is evaluated based on the facts and the law.”