David Mandel (Director of Ohel) in the September 2007 Jewish Observer
However that New York Times article noted that Pirro's conviction rate was inflated by plea bargaining which minimizes the likelihood of going to jail. Other district attorneys had a higher rate of prison sentences
That most perpetrators do not go to jail is not a Jewish phenomenon. Former Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro was noted for her aggressive pursuit of pedophiles. In six years of sting operations, 1999-2005, she succeeded in the arrests of 111 men with a 100% conviction rate. The overwhelming majority received probation with only eight perpetrators sentenced to jail (New York Times, 10.13.06).
While Ms. Pirro’s press releases repeatedly pointed out that the crimes were felonies punishable by up to four years in state prison for each count, a review of the cases shows that the overwhelming majority of people received sentences that let them avoid extensive jail time.
In most nearby counties, prosecutors have had a higher rate of felony convictions in similar cases, because Ms. Pirro allowed nearly one in five defendants to plead down from felonies to misdemeanors, according to prosecutors’ statistics.
Only eight of the men prosecuted by Ms. Pirro were given outright prison sentences by judges, according to records from the district attorney’s office. The rest, 93 percent, received some form of probation. “In many cases, we asked for jail time and didn’t get it,” Ms. Pirro said.
According to Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the current Westchester district attorney, Janet DiFiore, who has continued the sting program, 54 people indicted in the operation under Ms. Pirro received only probation, generally of five years. Mr. Chalfen said 46 others received so-called shock probation, which called for weekends behind bars.
Two cases went to trial. Both defendants were convicted, but one conviction was overturned on appeal, and the other will be appealed on similar grounds.[...]
Other district attorneys’ offices in counties of comparable size, like Nassau, as well as in larger ones, like Manhattan and Brooklyn, that have prosecuted Internet sex crimes involving the same statute that Ms. Pirro’s office used — attempting to disseminate indecent material to a minor — seem more resistant to bargaining with defendants.
The Nassau County district attorney, Kathleen Rice, said that of the 40 individuals charged by her office since 2001 for trying to sexually entice minors over the Internet, 34 pleaded guilty to the initial felony charge and only one pleaded to a lesser count, harassment. Of the others, one was found guilty, one died and three cases are pending.
“When we have someone arrested on the top count, my general position is, absolutely no pleas,” Ms. Rice said.
Of the 49 people indicted on the felony charge of attempting to disseminate indecent material to a minor in Manhattan between July 1999 and the end of 2005, all but three were convicted on that charge, said Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau. [...]