Ken Thompson is Brooklyn's newest hero. First there was dismissing the charges against Jonathan Fleming, now he's elected to stop prosecuting people caught with dismissible amounts of marijuana.
According to the New York Post, Thompson's office issued a statement saying: "When a defendant has neither a criminal record nor an open arrest or warrant, it makes no sense for the criminal justice system, including a District Attorney’s Office, to devote its scarce resources to lengthy case processing."
This directive was also reportedly sent to NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton. However, the memo specifies that charges should only be dropped against Class B misdemeanors and people with no criminal background. Arrests for marijuana possession rose under mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, as they largely ignored a law decriminalizing 25 grams or less or marijuana.
After Thompson defeated former district attorney Charles Hynes, he pledged to reduce the number of arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The New York Times reports that Bratton said he's an opponent of decriminalization, though he'll work with prosecutors and political leaders to best resolve the matter.
Despite Thompson's efforts, minors caught with weed will still have a problem. Gothamist notes that the Corporate Counsel's office—city lawyers—deal with juvenile delinquency arrests. Regardless, Thompson's decision is a step in the right direction.
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