Editorial from the Daily News:
New York City is overrun by habitual criminals who are degrading the quality of life without fear of punishment, according to astounding new data.
The state Division of Criminal Justice Services reports that a whopping 8,824 mopes had been convicted of five or more misdemeanors within the three years that ended Dec. 31. Some 1,600 of them had 10 or more convictions in the same time frame and 169 had 20 or more.
These people must be stopped. They are stealing, dealing drugs, vandalizing property and cycling through the Criminal Court revolving door largely unpunished. New Yorkers are lucky if they are off the street for more than a couple of days.
Commissioner Sean Byrne started collecting the numbers to get prosecutors and judges to come down harder on repeat misdemeanor offenders. Good luck with that. It has never worked before and the max they would face in any case is a year in jail.
Only a get-tough law will do the trick.
The Legislature - including the soft-on-crime Democratic-controlled Assembly - must finally deem repeat misdemeanants eligible for treatment as felons.
Ideally, the law would bump a fourth misdemeanor conviction up to a felony with hard time. But this is too much for the Assembly to bear. Mayor Bloomberg has called for setting the standard at a seventh conviction and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance says he would happily settle for pegging it at eight or more serious misdemeanors in five years.
Enough is enough. Too many people are being victimized.