District attorneys across the Big Apple last year declined to prosecute accused felons at nearly twice the rate of 2019 — letting more than 6,500 suspects off the hook, The Post has learned.
Prosecutors dropped all charges in 16.9 percent of the 38,635 felony cases that were closed in New York City during 2020, according to data compiled by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services.
The year before, that rate was just 8.7 percent and the average for 2016 to 2019 was an even lower 8 percent, the statistics show.
Even though far fewer cases were disposed of last year, the 6,522 defendants whose charges were dropped exceeded the 5,985 who weren’t prosecuted in 2019.
The total number of cases closed in 2020 plunged by a massive 44.1 percent last year amid court closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic — down from 69,119 the year before.
A law enforcement source said there were “a lot of layers to the problem,” including veteran prosecutors retiring or leaving for other jobs and “inexperienced [prosecutors] and cops making it harder to do trials,” as well as the political nature of DAs’ jobs.
“The DAs are worried about getting re-elected,” the source said.
“Plus, you throw in a bucket of ‘woke’ and no one is getting prosecuted.”
The source also pointed to controversial, recently enacted laws governing the disclosure of evidence to the defense, known as “discovery.”
“Now, if someone takes a plea, you still have to provide the discovery information even though the case is closed,” the source said.
“Before, you didn’t have to. If you DP [decline to prosecute] a case, there is no discovery.”