Erased Dozens of Old Marijuana Possession Convictions for First Time in State History; Vacated Over 1,400 Open Warrants for Offenses His Office No Longer Prosecutes
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today moved to vacate 1,422 outstanding misdemeanor warrants stemming from failure to appear in court on misdemeanor marijuana possession cases, and also consented to defense motions to erase 28 past convictions for misdemeanor marijuana possession. Vacating those convictions – which is part of the District Attorney’s Justice 2020 action plan – represents the first time in New York State history that a criminal record for marijuana possession was erased under a DA’s initiative.
Murders Dropped Below 100 for the First Time Since Record-Keeping Began;
Admissions to Rikers Island on Misdemeanor Cases Declined by Over 43%
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “In Brooklyn, we are leading the way in implementing initiatives that strengthen trust in the criminal justice system while keeping communities safe. Working with the NYPD, we are continuing to see declines in most crimes, with another historic low in homicides. And we are showing our commitment to enhancing fairness and equity by reducing reliance on incarceration and offering more opportunities for diversion. I look forward to achieving additional meaningful reforms in the coming year as we execute my Justice 2020 action plan and build a truly progressive and modern District Attorney’s Office.”
In Effort to Stem Opioid Dependency, Pre-Arraignment Diversion Will Provide Services from Time of Arrest; Those who Participate Will Have Their Misdemeanor Charges Dismissed
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the launch of a pre-arraignment diversion program to assist individuals who suffer from drug dependency and misuse. Under Project CLEAR (Collaborative Legal Engagement Assistance Response), individuals arrested for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance will be offered the opportunity to receive treatment and other community-based services before their initial court appearance. If they meaningfully participate, the DA’s Office will decline prosecution of their cases before they ever appear in court and their arrest record will be sealed.
Committee of Criminal Justice Experts, Reformers and Community Leaders Will Advise on Reforms and Innovative Approaches to Keep Brooklyn Safe and Strengthening Community Trust in the Criminal Justice System
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced a groundbreaking initiative aimed at keeping Brooklyn safe and strengthening community trust in the criminal justice system by ensuring fairness and equal justice for all. Justice 2020 will rely initially on a Launch Committee consisting of criminal justice reform experts, defense groups, service providers, law enforcement, formerly incarcerated individuals, clergy and community leaders.
Allegedly Spent Proceeds on Luxury Properties, High-End Designer Goods and Jewelry; Recruited Patients from Homeless and Low-Income Population
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with federal, state and local partners, announced that four doctors are among 34 defendants – 20 individuals and 14 corporations – named in an 878-count indictment that alleges that they participated in a massive scheme to defraud Medicaid, Medicare and other publicly-funded insurance providers of approximately $146 million in the biggest such case in Brooklyn DA’s history. “These defendants allegedly exploited the poorest among us to divert millions of dollars from publicly-funded insurance programs these same vulnerable people rely on,” the DA said.