A California court sharply rebuked soft-on-crime LA County District Attorney George Gascon Thursday, ruling that he must comply with the law instead of just making his own.
“The district attorney overstates his authority,” the ruling said. “He (Gascon) is an elected official who must comply with the law, not a sovereign with absolute, unreviewable discretion.”
Their legalese might be a little better than mine, but basically what the judges are saying is, “Who the heck do you think you are?!”
The three-justice panel of the Appeals Court said in its ruling that Gascon cannot order prosecutors to refuse to charge three-strikes cases and cannot order prosecutors to drop or withdraw special circumstance allegations. The ruling upheld an earlier decision from a lower court that came to the same conclusion.
California’s Three Strikes Law was overwhelmingly approved by voters via Proposition 184 in 1994. Californians, almost as sick of crime then as they are now, mandated that defendants convicted of a third felony serve at least 25 years in prison to life. Sentencing enhancements, also known as aggravating factors, allow the prosecutor to seek additional time for the defendant if convicted. Examples include hate crimes, and gang or weapons enhancements.
Gascon, however, like so many other California politicians, doesn’t actually care what the voters want. And he’s proud of his efforts:
Eliminated 8,127 years of unnecessary, excessive and expensive exposure to prison time.
Stopped seeking the death penalty in 17 cases.
Withdrew 77 pending motions to transfer kids to adult court.
Saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
All during my first 100 days. pic.twitter.com/I5XaIZveb7
— George Gascón (@GeorgeGascon) March 19, 2021
Yes, he did accomplish a lot in his first 100 days, that’s for sure—and he hasn’t stopped destroying LA since. Gascon has radically transformed the county since coming into office in December 2020, quickly issuing directives that seemed to almost beg criminals to commit crimes. Which of course is exactly what they’ve been doing:
Since Gascón took office in 2020, data shows Los Angeles has seen a 34% increase in homicide, 15.5% increase in violent crimes, 6.7% increase in property crimes and 67% increase in shooting victims. https://t.co/UdpnyQfSy2
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) May 6, 2022
Orange County DA Todd Spitzer and former LA DA Steve Cooley wrote in an editorial:
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has enthusiastically embraced radical, pro-criminal, anti-law enforcement policies to fulfill his misguided and dangerous ideology. His policies have ratcheted down punishment to its bare minimum and significantly reduced the prosecution of crime. Murders, gang shootings, organized theft and crime rates have skyrocketed.
In short, Gascon has been an unmitigated disaster for Los Angeles.
Frustration among career attorneys boiled for months, and finally culminated in the Association of Deputy District Attorneys suing Gascon, saying the policies violated their rights and state law.
“There’s never been a case where a court had to tell a chief prosecutor that his job is to follow the law,” Eric Siddall, vice president of the group, told Fox News. “Just because of the nature of his job, he doesn’t get to ignore or break the law.”
Thursday, they were vindicated. Said Siddall:
This is a win for the voters, a win for the people in the state of California and it’s a win for the line prosecutors. George Gascon and violent criminals, those are the two that lose today.
Gascon has brought such mayhem to Los Angeles and has shown such cold disregard for crime victims that voters and even former allies are turning against him. A Recall Gascon effort is gaining steam and is closing in on the number of signatures they need to get the issue on the ballot:
Our campaign to recall George Gascon has reached 500,000 signatures as of May 31!
To qualify, we must collect 566,857 signatures by July 6.
Reach out to your fellow Angelenos and help recall George Gascon!
Sign the petition: https://t.co/NKtY22obXc#RecallDAGeorgeGascon pic.twitter.com/qPxMEVmNHE
— RecallDAGeorgeGascon (@DAGasconRecall) June 2, 2022
Gascon is a like a local version of Biden—in just a short time, he has done such incalculable damage to this county, just as Biden has done to the country. The almost 10 million people who live within the county’s boundaries have seen homicides go up, daily smash-and-grabs with no consequences for the culprits, and residents terrified to walk down the street.
Today’s court decision is a victory for scared citizens in this county. But it’s not enough. Gascon is a menace to society, and he must go.