“Obviously I want to continue the things that Ken started,” Mr. Gonzalez said in his first interview since taking over as district attorney. Among them, he added, were key reforms that defined Mr. Thompson’s tenure: a warrant amnesty program, a policy not to prosecute some low-level marijuana offenses and a special unit devoted to wrongful convictions.
Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a return to federal drug policies that, beginning in the 1980’s, led to mass incarceration and the dubious distinction of making the United States the world’s biggest jailer.
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez leads one of the largest DA offices in America, but he is not well known to voters. Gonzalez hopes to change that as he battles in a crowded Democratic primary for district attorney this year.
The federal government’s current emphasis on deporting undocumented immigrants — even those facing low-level charges — has, in effect, turned courthouses in New York State into arenas where practitioners of criminal law face off against enforcers of immigration law.
“I’ve been thinking about the issues of criminal justice since high school. I mean East New York was the homicide capital of New York City at the time, and yet there was so much resentment towards law enforcement from so many segments.
Prosecutors have wide latitude when negotiating plea deals. It typically depends on the facts of each case. In several U.S. cities now, prosecutors are using their discretion to protect defendants who are immigrants. They want to ensure that immigrants, whether here illegally or seeking citizenship, don't get deported for minor crimes.
A Crown Heights man has been indicted for trying to steal six homes in Central Brooklyn using fake deeds — and imposters to pretend to be their owners, prosecutors say.
The Brooklyn district attorney’s office, promising to seek “equal and fair justice” for the borough’s vulnerable foreign-born residents, has created a policy that tailors prosecutions to avoid, when possible, the deportation or detention of immigrants charged with certain misdemeanors or nonviolent crimes.
Brooklyn landlords looking to quickly cash in on a booming real-estate market found a way to bypass a lengthy building inspection process: call on a “shadow utility company” set up by a former National Grid employee to install illegal gas lines, authorities said.