Mayor Adams stated on Thursday that prosecutors in New York City should never negotiate plea agreements with individuals convicted of hate crimes.
Many of the perpetrators of these hate crimes avoid jail time entirely after being apprehended.
We think this sends the wrong message, and we should prohibit plea deals in cases like these,” Adams said.
We must respond to hate crimes appropriately, prosecute offenders properly, and hold them accountable for their actions rather than trying to hide them.
After visiting a symposium in Athens, Greece, on combating anti-Semitism, the mayor pitched the aggressive prosecution strategy.
According to him, one of his primary “takeaways” from the conference discussions was to eliminate the option of a plea agreement in situations involving hate crimes.
“We frequently allow people to plead guilty to harassment or another lesser felony in these situations. I think there should be no room for plea negotiations in cases involving crimes motivated by hatred,” he stated.
Plea agreements, which district attorneys regularly employ, allow offenders to avoid going to court in exchange for admitting to charges that all parties have agreed upon.
According to NYPD data, hate crimes have sharply increased in the city since the pandemic’s start.
The NYPD reported 423 hate crimes in the city overall in 2019.
The most recent NYPD statistics available as of September 30 show that there were 469 bias incidents.
Adams argued that there must be a social media crackdown on hate speech that incites violence and rolls back plea deals.
The mayor stated that parliamentarians at the federal level “must play a greater role in how we look at social media, the influence it is playing in radicalizing and uniting people around hatred of all types, including anti-Semitism.”
“The social media sector must play a bigger part in combating hate.”