A prosecutor’s job is to do justice. This is different than the criminal defense attorney’s job, which is to advocate for his client in the most effective way possible. But the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office virtually never exercises their discretion to dismiss unjust cases once they have initiated a prosecution. Prosecutors are afraid to step up and dismiss cases because they are afraid of what their boss, and their boss’ boss might say. They will, however, let the system break the case down, and have the case get dismissed on speedy trial grounds. This way, they maintain some level of deniability, as they can just blame the dismissal on “the system”.
This is a gutless way for a prosecutor to do his job. Cases without merit should be dismissed, and at the earliest possible moment. What prosecutors seem to lose sight of, at least in Brooklyn, is that criminal prosecutions affect and destroy lives, even without a conviction. Criminal lawyer know that false accusations can take an enormous emotional, and even physical, toll.
The best Brooklyn criminal defense lawyers know the culture of the Brooklyn DA’s office, and know whether to spend time and effort trying to persuade them to drop a meritless case, or whether to simply drive the case forward as aggressively as possible to push it over a cliff at the earliest possible moment. Often the latter is the better choice. At least until the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office recognizes that a big part of doing justice is dismissing meritless cases, and exercising their discretion without regard to politics, press, or precious statistics.