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NYC Prosecutors Pledge to Dismiss 700,000 Minor Warrants

Four of New York City’s district attorneys say they will file motions in coming weeks to toss out 700,000 old warrants issued for low-level offenses like drinking in public and riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, reports the New York Law Journal. Prosecutors in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan will move to dismiss warrants that are 10 years old or older that stem from NYPD summonses. The mass clearance will dismiss a significant portion of the city’s roughly 1.5 million outstanding warrants.

When warrants aren’t cleared, those who have them are subject to automatic arrest for years and decades to come, even if they come in contact with police because they were involved in a minor traffic accident or while reporting a crime. Bronx DA Darcel Clark said the motions for clearance should not be viewed as mass amnesty. “We’re not telling everyone it’s OK to get a summons and not show up,” Clark said. But she said many of the cases are unprosecutable because of legal sufficiency issues.

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NYC to Move Teens Off Rikers Island Jail Complex

New York City officials say 16- and 17-year-old inmates will be moved off the troubled Rikers Island jail complex and into a Bronx youth facility.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the $300 million, four-year plan Thursday. It’s subject to land use, planning and community approval.

New York and North Carolina are the only two states that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. Legislative efforts to raise the age of criminal responsibility statewide have failed.

Almost all the 188 teens held on Rikers are awaiting trial. That’s down from 337 in 2013.

Federal prosecutors have urged that the teens be moved off Rikers since a 2014 investigation found they were routinely abused.

De Blasio says age-appropriate housing will help teens return to the right path.