Bronx DA: Court Grants Motion by Bronx DA Darcel Clark To Dismiss Over 6,000 Misdemeanor Marijuana Cases



Includes Pending Cases and Bench Warrants


Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark announced that the Supervising Judge of Bronx Criminal Court, George A. Grasso, granted her Office’s motion to dismiss more than 6,000 cases that involved the charge of misdemeanor marijuana possession or sale, during a proceeding today in the Bronx Hall of Justice.


           District Attorney Clark said, “The Legislature has de-criminalized the possession and sale of small amounts of marijuana to right the wrong of disproportionate enforcement and arrests in communities of color like the Bronx. We had long stopped prosecuting these offenses because they were not a threat to public safety, and they gave people a criminal record that had negative collateral consequences on employment, housing, education, and immigration.


          “Our application today is part of my Office’s pursuit of justice with integrity. There is no purpose in spending prosecutorial and judicial resources on conduct that the Legislature has de-criminalized.  Since Article 221 has been repealed, there is no longer any basis to continue the prosecution of open cases that contain a sole charge of misdemeanor marijuana possession and/or sale, or keep active warrants related to these matters, so we have moved to dismiss 6,089 cases.”


              Administrative Judge Grasso said, “Today is a historic day in Bronx Criminal Court. Our Criminal Justice System has responded swiftly to the actions and intent of the New York State Legislature with respect to over six thousand pending and closed matters relating to Marijuana charges. This means that thousands of individuals (many who are young people of color) can now go about their business without being under the cloud of a criminal matter. I take pride in our Court’s continuing partnership with the Office of the District Attorney and the Defense Bar in our efforts to effect fair and impartial justice in Bronx County!”


Peter Jones, Attorney-In-Charge of the Bronx Trial Office at The Legal Aid Society, said, “We thank DA Darcel Clark for agreeing to dismiss thousands of marijuana cases for expungable offenses, and appreciate her recognition that continued prosecution for matters that have been legalized is unjust. For decades, our clients shouldered the brunt of marijuana prohibition, losing years of their lives ensnared in the criminal legal system and denied meaningful employment, housing and other opportunities. These dismissals are critical for our clients, the majority from communities of color, who can now move on with their lives.”


District Attorney Clark appeared before Judge Grasso in his courtroom today to declare, “In the furtherance of justice, the People move to dismiss 6,089 cases with sole charge of misdemeanor possession or sale of marijuana.” This total includes 2,441 summonses, 1,998 pending cases with 1,974 open warrants, and 1,650 cases in which a plea was entered and there is an open warrant based upon the failure to complete a sentence.

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