With shoplifting and violent crime still far too high across the city, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg last week pushed for . . . more hate-crime laws.
Huh? He barely prosecutes felonies already on the books.
Yet Bragg joined with state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal and Assemblywoman Grace Lee (both D-Manhattan) to ask the Legislature to add 30-plus crimes (such as forcible touching, graffiti and sexual assault) to the list of 66 charges eligible for hate-crime status.
For the record, we’re against hate, too, especially with the city facing a major uptick in antisemitic assaults — but criminalizing it has always been a dubious enterprise.
Showing a motive for a crime is a regular part of prosecution, but adding thought-crime penalties on top of the sentence is an invitation to mind-reading that doesn’t belong in the lawbooks.
The law should focus on anti-social actions — but doing that is evidently something Bragg . . . hates.
At least, he doesn’t like sending anyone to jail or prison for much of anything.
Starting with his disgraceful “Day 1” memo to his office, Bragg has emphasized a “decarceral” agenda that treats prosecution as a major threat to society.
Along with state criminal-justice “reforms” pushing the same misbegotten approach, that’s produced a steep rise in shootings and other violent crimes — as well as record shoplifting that’s forced many retailers to close and left the rest locking up most of their shelves, even the toothpaste.
The DA’s lowlights include a sweet-heart plea deal last December for a gangbanger with a history of robbing high-end Madison Avenue boutiques (Bragg said his office had too much on its plate), the aborted murder charge against bodega worker Jose Alba in a clear case of self-defense as well as charging Marine Corps vet Daniel Penny with manslaughter in the death of Jordan Neely, a mentally unhinged vagrant threatening other straphangers.
All of which suggests Bragg would use any new hate-crime powers not to target real threats to public safety but to further the progressive war on what the left sees as “wrongthink.”