January 28, 2023
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Eric Adams’ focus on career criminals is a no-brainer

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With lawmakers still refusing to let judges consider a defendant’s “dangerousness” when deciding bail, Mayor Eric Adams is focusing on keeping repeat offenders off the streets. That’s smart, particularly with thieves — many of them career criminals — terrorizing city shops, as The Post reported Monday.

Yet it’s just one of several criminal-justice fixes he and Gov. Kathy Hochul need to push through in the new legislative session.

Last week, Adams pointed to repeat offender Shanice Aviles, who’s accused of breaking into Robert De Niro’s Manhattan townhouse and has been nabbed at least 26 times so far.

“Look at her record,” he fumed. “Anytime people say, ‘Why am I talking about recidivism?’ . . . This is what we are talking about.”

Criminals “believe our criminal justice system is a joke,” he added. Those arrested for grand larceny go to court, get released and “on their way home from court, they’re doing another grand larceny.”

That dovetails with The Post’s serial reports of serial offenders — some with more than 100 collars on their rap sheets — who are repeatedly freed to roam the streets. Just this month, a 58-year-old career criminal with 99 arrests allegedly struck a cop, two weeks after being nabbed for sex abuse and quickly freed.

Stores, especially in trendy tourist areas of Manhattan, are being blitzed: Grand larcenies (thefts over $1,000) are up 28% this year citywide, but far more in the Manhattan South precinct, which includes Times Square, Grand Central Terminal and Madison Square Garden, where some business owners blame the state’s disastrous 2019 bail reform.

They’re right to do so: That “fix” did away with judges’ ability to require bail, except for the most serious offenses, and combined with soft-on-crime judges and prosecutors, like Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, left businesses to face the same criminals over and over again.

Hochul and Adams need to push for fixes to other laws, too, such as Raise the Age, which keeps teens under 18 out of criminal court, and “discovery” rules that are often impossible for prosecutors to comply with.

The good news? The gov might’ve gotten the message from November’s elections, in which she came closer to losing than any Democrat in decades: Voters care about crime and will hold her accountable if things don’t improve.

She and Adams reportedly have been hammering out a plan to get lawmakers on board with a number of criminal-justice fixes, such as giving judges more discretion on bail and letting them hold defendants even without prosecutors asking for bail.

Lawmakers have rebuffed the gov twice already on criminal-justice fixes. But now that she’s been elected in her own right, and with the help of powers she has in the budget process, she may finally be able to make some headway on this. Cross your fingers.



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