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  • LA County's New DA

    Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced a slew of reforms in his first speech on Monday, promising the end of cash bail and death sentences, as well as new reviews of thousands of old convictions that have kept some locked up in state prisons for decades on minor charges.

    In a virtual ceremony, Gascón, a former LAPD officer and district attorney of San Francisco who was elected over incumbent D.A. Jackie Lacey in November, also said he would instruct his prosecutors to cease seeking nearly all types of sentencing enhancements in criminal cases, and to end prosecuting juvenile offenders as adults.


    The new D.A.’s speech heralded an abrupt and sweeping pivot for L.A. County’s criminal justice system, which despite the region’s liberal reputation has long been a target of criticism from civil rights advocates.

    Gascón, now leading the largest prosecuting office in the country, said policies enacted here during during wars on drug and gang crime in the past were ending


    Like myself, many senior law enforcement officials cut their teeth in the business in the 1980s and 90s,” Gascón. “But where some of us differ is that I am convinced that we must abandon what we knew then for what we now know — Los Angeles is a poster child for the failed ‘tough-on-crime’ approach.”

    Gascón’s election in November was part of a wave of victories for progressives campaigning for big city prosecutor jobs over the last few years. Many of those candidates owed their wins to activist groups like Black Lives Matter and civil rights advocates who’ve led large-scale protests following police killings. Black Lives Matter in L.A. was one of the first groups Gascón met with after his election.

    Many of the reforms announced Monday have for years been on the wish lists of civil rights advocates in L.A. County, who say the criminal justice system here disproportionately targets Black and Latino residents, and houses tens of thousands of them in overcrowded and outdated jails.

    Gascón’s attempt to make a strong first impression may owe to the nature of his victory, knocking off a longtime incumbent D.A. who was slow to propose such changes.

    “Every elected official should consider their first term as a probationary period, particularly in L.A. County — voters have shown they will bounce folks,” said Jasmyne Cannick. “These are no longer life-long positions…I think Gascón realizes that.”

    Cannick is a political consultant who led protests against Lacey over her failure to charge Ed Buck, an activist and megadonor who became involved in local Democratic Party politics, after two Black men overdosed at his West Hollywood home.
    In pledging to end cash bail in the county, Gascón’s office will direct prosecutors to stop seeking bail for anyone accused of a misdemeanor or any non-violent, non-serious crime. If prosecutors think someone is a threat to public safety, they’ll ask a judge to hold them without bail.

    Anyone currently being held on such charges can also petition to have their bail removed. And Gascón said his office will not fight their release.

    The D.A. said this was a stop gap measure and that his office will unveil a plan to end cash bail in the county entirely on Jan. 1.

    The announcement comes after Californians voted down Proposition 25, which would have replaced the state’s cash bail system with computerized risk assessments.

    Gascón said he’s instructing prosecutors to no longer seek the death penalty, and he’s pursuing resentencing some death row inmates to life in prison. He said the death penalty consistently has resulted in racist outcomes: More than two-thirds of current death row inmates are people of color.

    Despite no new executions in California since 2006, the last two D.A.s, Jackie Lacey and Steve Cooley, both continued to dole out death sentences during their terms. Gascón said under their watch, the county became “the nation’s death capital.”

    “The reality is the death penalty does not make us safer,” he said. “It is racist, it is morally untenable, it is irreversible and it is expensive.”

    Ending sentencing enhancements as Gascón said he would do means prosecutors will no longer seek to tack on charges like committing crimes as part of a gang, or using a gun during a crime. Such enhancements can add five years to a sentence and even longer if served consecutively.

    In seeking to ask for new sentences for old offenders, Gascón said he’s instructing his office to review the cases of between 20,000 and 30,000 current state prisoners. Included in those reviews will be cases involving prisoners who’ve served longer than 20 years and are considered low risk to re-offend, and those who were sentenced as children or were sentenced under California’s three-strikes law.

    In another major change, the new D.A. will also seek to create a new unit to investigate police shootings, potentially replacing internal detectives in police departments who currently conduct many of these investigations themselves.

    During the campaign, his team reviewed dozens of shooting cases that Lacey declined to prosecute. Gascón said he’ll reopen investigations into at least four. To help in the reviews, Gascón said he’s enlisting a panel of policing experts, civil rights attorneys and community members. They’ll also be assisted by UCI’s Civil Rights and Criminal Justice Clinic.

    Gascón announced the panel in a letter to law enforcement officials across the region he sent before his swearing in ceremony. Some of those reviews will include shootings from as far back as 2012.

    Police unions around the region were not pleased with the announcements Monday. In a statement, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents thousands of rank-and-file LAPD officers, called Gascón’s changes “disturbing.”

    “As homicides, shooting victims, and shots fired into occupied homes soar in Los Angeles, it’s disturbing that Gascon’s first act in office is to explore every avenue possible to release from jail those responsible for this bloodshed,” union officials said. “The new D.A. talks a good game, but his plans will do nothing but further victimize Los Angeles residents.”

    Others were ecstatic over the changes: Gascón’s speech drew praise from celebrity activists, like director Ava Duvernay, rapper Common and pop singer John Legend.

    This is the kind of change we voted for,” Legend said on Twitter, “and the kind of change we need to bring our system closer to true justice.”
    ​​​​​​​
    https://www.dailynews.com/2020/12/07...lice-shootings

    I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

    It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

  • #2
    Bwahahahahaha...you guys are SO screwed. Move inside as soon as you can.
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • moparfan
      moparfan commented
      Editing a comment
      Screwed is an understatement

  • #3
    I can’t use the words as it bleeps them... I hope he becomes a crime victim so you can tell him to pound sand as it was a poverty driven beating...
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • moparfan
      moparfan commented
      Editing a comment
      I hope it's a misdemeanor crime 1st offender

  • #4
    I worked alongside him, early, in my LAPD career. I was never impressed. I think LA County is screwed, seriously screwed.
    "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

    Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

    Comment


    • #5
      Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post
      I worked alongside him, early, in my LAPD career. I was never impressed. I think LA County is screwed, seriously screwed.
      Yep.
      There won’t be any recovery from his terms...
      Now go home and get your shine box!

      Comment

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