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December 8, 2008

Interesting data on the application of NY gun law for Plaxico's consideration

The New York Daily News has this interesting article, headlined "Plaxico Burress faces tough gun laws in Manhattan," providing data concerning the application of gun laws throughout New York City. Here are some excerpts:

Plaxico Burress picked a club in the wrong borough to dance around with an illegal gun. Prosecutors in Manhattan have the highest conviction rate among the city's five boroughs against people collared in second-degree gun possession cases.  About 22% of Manhattan defendants get convicted on that charge, according to a News analysis of state Division of Criminal Justice data from 2003 to 2007.  The conviction rate hovered around 10% in three other boroughs: 9% in Staten Island, 10% in the Bronx and 12% in Queens. Brooklyn had the lowest conviction rate at 7%.

Citywide, 11.4% of the 9,729 defendants charged with second-degree gun possession were actually convicted of that charge, which carries a mandatory 3-1/2 year sentence.  "To take a gun into a crowded nightclub where people drink and push each other around because of the density of people there," Mayor Bloomberg said in a radio address Friday.  "There's a reason for this law and it is to convince you to not do this and to make the price heavy to stop it."...

Despite Bloomberg's call for Burress to get the maximum, the team distraction should be encouraged by statistics showing most people charged with second-degree gun possession don't get convicted of that crime. In all five boroughs, most have the charges knocked down to less serious crimes or see them dismissed. If Burress pleads to the lesser charge of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon — the crime has no mandatory sentence — he could still do some time. Last year, 60% of the men and women convicted of third-degree possession served time, state officials said....

Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan said his office uses the mandatory minimum sentence as leverage to gain gun intelligence and to convince defendants to plea to a class D violent felony, which can carry a year in jail. "While we will convict less people of the arrest charge, we're gaining intelligence on the gun traffickers," he said.

Related posts on the Plaxico Burress case:

December 8, 2008 at 07:00 AM | Permalink

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