District Attorney Should Stop Avoiding Sentencing Decisions By Dan Schorr

eHezi Archives 14 Comments

A defendant convicted of manslaughter in the first degree faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of twenty-five years in prison. A strong District Attorney’s office will make a specific sentencing recommendation to the judge and will argue the merits of its position. Some defendants may deserve five years, some the maximum twenty-five, others a period of time in between.

But for the past three years, the Westchester D.A.’s office has shied away from taking a stand on the sentencing of many violent criminals. Instead, Assistant D.A.s are often instructed by those at the top of the office to make only vague references regarding how long a dangerous felon should be imprisoned. While well-managed offices in New York City and elsewhere take firm, bold, specific stands, in Westchester prosecutors use words such as “more than the minimum” and “substantially more than the minimum,” avoiding meaningful input before the judge’s decision.

I worked with many of the current Westchester ADAs and have asked some of them about this practice. They tell me that they are instructed not to take specific stands on sentences in many cases so that judges, not the DA’s office, will be criticized if the sentencing decision is deemed poor by the public or the press. It’s better to pass the buck to the judge and avoid responsibility.

A recent vivid example of this problem was reported by The Journal News in August. A defendant pled guilty to manslaughter and the judge sentenced the defendant to ten years in prison. When the mother of the victim expressed outrage, the D.A.’s office joined in advocating for a longer prison term. The judge noted that the D.A.’s office, when it had had its opportunity to recommend a sentence, had merely asked for “substantially more than the minimum.”

Was ten years “substantially more than the minimum” of five years? Maybe. Maybe not.

Having yielded all responsibility for the sentence, having evaded the opportunity to give a meaningful recommendation and advocate for it, the D.A.’s office is free to criticize with 20/20 hindsight. Such passivity shows that our D.A.’s office is failing to fight the tough fights and take the bold stands that are necessary to keep violent felons off our streets and bring about a safer Westchester. We can’t afford such timidity at the top of the D.A.’s office, especially now when crimes such as murder, rape, and burglary are on the rise in Westchester while they are falling statewide

The policy of vague sentence recommendations is not the fault of the Assistant D.A.s in the office. I talk with them and they tell me they want to fight for what they believe. They want to take the tough stands and advocate for justice, to better protect the public from those who prey on us. While their hands are tied by those at the top of the office, they would welcome the responsibility of giving meaningful input into sentences.

The Assistant D.A.s are eager to fight in court to protect the citizens of Westchester County. That’s why they became prosecutors. That’s why I’m running for District Attorney.

Dan Schorr is a Republican candidate for Westchester County District Attorney. Learn more at www.ElectDanSchorr.com.

eHeziDistrict Attorney Should Stop Avoiding Sentencing Decisions By Dan Schorr

Comments 14

  1. Dear Strip Club Sam,
    First off….quick….where is your brother Ali Zherka?
    Secondly, I’m not Mike.

  2. Mike- (Patron of strip clubs) As you also describe Zherka as a strip club owner in every post I think it is only fair that you state you are a patron of strip clubs in every post

  3. Mike- do you have a problem with someone who ran for the office of DA while being supported by a CONVICTED FELON? Mike the feds must call you every day to let you know who is and who is not a subject of investigation. I beleive that would make you the only citizen in the country that they do this for.
    And Janet your best is not good enough if you try to convict a woman who was voilently smashed face first into the floor by a police officer. You saw no problem with this but apparently the feds have.
    You have been protecting the few dirty cops to the detriment of the overwhelming number of fine police officers.

  4. Sam consistantly slams those who post blogs with his vile barbs against the current DA. He has delusions of grandeur when he pens that filth that he published in his rag. I pity both Dan and Tony for having alligned themselves with this sleeze. How on earth can an individual who is seeking elected office befriend a strip club owner whose family background is questionable at best? Those who live in glass houses…..

  5. There is no ongoing investigation of Pirro.
    There IS an ongoing investigation of Sam Zherka.
    Sam Zherka’s brother Ali Zherka is STILL in FEDERAL JAIL in Brooklyn.

  6. actually this is for you DA a** kisser . former US Att Micheal Garcia said as he was leaving office in an article in the Journal news that investigation regarding Pirro is still ongoing . and I guess according to you he must be quoting the Guardian also or better yet just ask your friend DA difiore if she thinks that investigation is closed . you seem threatned or at the very best paranoid as to what that Guardian prints . because you are forever slamming them and your motive is very obvious and somewhat disturbing. why does it bother you so much what a paper Journal News or Guardian prints dont read it .and whomever doesnt like what you say on news 12 wont watch you. as far as Castro that anger you keep throwing out reg him I hope backfires on you and whomever motivates you .the more you slam him the better he seems to alot of people crawl back under your rock DA stooge and make your family proud.

  7. you really need to get a life…jeanine pirro is not under investigation and i haven’t spoken to her for a long time…
    you should stop believing what you read
    in the guardian..which is not a newspaper
    and contains no facts and prints and
    distorts the truth on a weekly basis..
    all you have to do is read the decision
    of the federal court which totally discounts
    the entire zherka conspiracy theory…it threw out the lawsuits and will continue
    to do so…as for di fiore and her office
    she is a great DA…she is being challenged
    by a guy who is supported by a strip club
    owner under investigation for money laundering..drug dealing and prostitution
    according to his own legal papers.in addition he admits being served with a
    notice of eavesdropping by the prosecutors
    in 2006 over a year before anyone talked
    about him on any blog..and before the amicone campaign…so keep watching the show
    hope you enjoy it…and keep watching
    how castro gets blown out in the primary
    hope you enjoy that too..i know i will

  8. Jeanine Pirro is not under investgation, unless you mean by that whack S. Richard Blassberg who has never gotten a law degree despite gouing to law school.
    Sam Zherka is however under investigation by the Manhattan DA.
    Sam’s brother Ali Zherka REMAINS IN JAIL. FEDERAL JAIL in Brooklyn.

  9. edelman supported for many years jeanine pirro who is still under federal investigation and difiore who really has done not much as far as progress in the DA office . everyone knows you are fed things to put out on the blogs by both of theses women i hope you get exposed you are a cruel and nasty little man and very transparent i feel bad for your wife that you have become such a stooge.

  10. and it is my opinion that dan schorr should
    be disavowing the offered support of
    someone under investigation in manhattan
    for money laundering drug dealing and
    prostitution..no candidate for DA should
    accept that kind of support..well dan?

  11. Strip Club Sam wants either Dan Schorr or Tony Castro to be the new DA.
    That means they are both toast in my opinion because who would want to elect someone endorsed by that type of person.
    It’s my opinion that Strip Club Sam is evil.

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