As RedState and countless other publications warned, if Los Angeles elected socialist and Soros-funded candidate George Gascon as its District Attorney, he would institute radical changes in the criminal justice system. He essentially partnered with Black Lives Matter during the election, and pledged his allegiance to them after Election Day.
Gascon was sworn in Monday, and immediately implemented sweeping changes that go far beyond what even jaded political observers expected. As Fox Los Angeles’ Bill Melugin said:
Gascon promised during his campaign that he would drastically change the criminal justice system and move away from “mass incarceration” if elected, and whether or not you agree with him, he is delivering on that promise. These are MASSIVE changes for Los Angeles to digest.
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 7, 2020
In a speech following his swearing-in, Gascon spelled out exactly what is changing and when – his office won’t seek the death penalty ever, no more juveniles being charged as adults, no more use of gang or gun enhancements to put violent criminals away for a longer time, no more bail, resentencing of up to 20,000 convicted offenders (with hundreds possibly being released as soon as tomorrow), and more. Despite his years as an LAPD officer, he believes that these measures will “break the multigenerational cycles of violence, trauma, and arrest“:
“I recognize for many this is a new path … whether you are a protester, a police officer or a prosecutor, I ask you to walk with me. I ask you to join me on this journey,” he said. “We can break the multigenerational cycles of violence, trauma and arrest and recidivism that has led America to incarcerate more people than any other nation.”
Gascon then took to Twitter to lay out his agenda – which is terrifying to any law-abiding citizen (emphasis added):
40 years ago I walked my first beat as a young police officer.
Today, I was sworn in as the 43rd District Attorney of Los Angeles.
I am not the same man I was when I first put on the uniform.
One of the many reasons for that is because of situations I faced as a young officer – situations & experiences that have stayed with me, and that continue to shape my approach to this work.
Those experiences taught me the criminal justice system is fundamentally broken.
This might come across as snarky, but the question I would ask Gascon here is, if you’re not the same man you were when you first put on the uniform, at what point in time did the skirt-chasing, sexually-harassing, good-old-boys-club, retaliate-if-the-woman-rejects-you George Gascon emerge? We’ve reported on Gascon’s record of sexually harassing female LAPD officers, and so has independent journalist Yashar Ali.
As I’ve spoken to multiple victims, some of whom have pursued action against Gascon formally and some of whom haven’t, I’ve been warned to watch my six, that Gascon and his associates are ruthless, and that they will come after me and my family and attempt to ruin us. I’ve been warned that it’s too dangerous to go after him.
If the criminal justice system is fundamentally broken, it’s due to people – whether law enforcement or prosecutor – who view their position as a license to control other people for their own gratification, and Gascon is a fine one to talk.
Today, we will usher in a new era of criminal justice, and transform the largest criminal justice jurisdiction in America.
The money bail system is as unsafe as it is unjust.
Money is a terrible proxy for risk posed to society.
So today we will end cash bail for any misdemeanor, non-serious or non-violent felony offense.
And I will end bail completely January 1.
Experts estimate that hundreds of individuals behind bars today will be eligible to be freed tomorrow under this new pretrial release policy.
Enhancements, a legacy of the “tough-on-crime” era, are a principal driver of excessive sentences & mass incarceration.
CA enacted over 100 enhancements which are outdated, incoherent, & applied unfairly.
To end mass incarceration in LA we will cease filing ALL enhancements.
CA’s 1994 3 Strikes Law has been a disaster.
In 1980 CA had a prison pop of ~23,000.
In 1990, that number grew to ~94,000.
And In 1999, 5 years after passage of 3 Strikes, CA‘s prison population ballooned to 160,000 souls.
3 strikes ends in my office beginning today.
Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Yes, there are problems with equity in the justice system, especially with poor people being unable to make bail and losing jobs and homes as a result. Yes, there are problems with Three Strikes – mostly because California’s Democrats pass legislation hastily, at the behest of a special interest, without the input of the people who’ll be dealing with it on a daily basis, and with close to zero consideration of unintended consequences. But this isn’t the way to deal with it.
Taking the use of enhancements completely off the table is one of the most dangerous “reforms” I’ve ever heard floated. Because of California’s stupid “reform” laws already on the books, offenders serve a fraction of their sentences. By using applicable enhancements, prosecutors can ensure that these dangerous criminals are off the streets for a more appropriate amount of time. How can we know they’re dangerous? Well, if an assault charge is enhanced because the defendant used a firearm, they’re clearly more dangerous than an assailant who didn’t use a firearm. And if the defendant committed the crime as part of a gang, to benefit that gang, that’s clearly a more dangerous proposition than an individual snatching a purse. This isn’t rocket science.
RedState spoke to a veteran Deputy District Attorney in another California county who prosecutes gang crimes about the real-world consequences of this new policy.
This is going to increase violent crime in a way people in Los Angeles can’t even imagine. Full stop.
If multiple gang members commit murder together, that is a special circumstance that turns a case from life to life w/o possibility of parole. He’s taken off the table a vehicle to get violent gang members off the street forever. Gun enhancements are an additional 25 to life enhancement, so it can be 50 if they run consecutively.
She then explained that in the case of a murder committed by multiple gang members, the enhancement needs to be charged in order to prove motive to achieve the conviction. Under the California Evidence Code, evidence needs to be more probative than prejudicial in order to be allowed in, and:
Gang evidence is so prejudicial when not charged that it almost never comes in. Usually in a gang case, the gang evidence is the way that we explain what occurred.
Think about it this way. It’s very often the case that gang members don’t hit their intended victim when they fire their weapons. So when a gang member shoots and kills a child, it’s imperative that we file the gang enhancement so we can bring in the evidence about the gang’s involvement to establish motive and convict those responsible for the murder.
It’s hard for us to explain to the parents in a case like this – who are victims, too – why their child isn’t getting the justice that they deserve, because we can’t introduce the evidence that the perpetrators were in a gang.
In addition, prosecutors use the enhancements as leverage to reach a plea bargain. Plea bargains are often scoffed at, but the hard truth is that there’s no way prosecutors can try every case. The justice system isn’t staffed for that. “By offering to drop an enhancement as a condition of their guilty plea, significantly reducing their exposure, individuals who have never taken responsibility for anything in their life are encouraged to take at least this much responsibility,” the prosecutor continued.
Back to George Gascon. He isn’t content to start today with his reforms; like other California politicians, he wants to harm law-abiding citizens retroactively:
The pursuit of justice is timeless and that’s why these policies will be applied retroactively. At least 20,000 people currently incarcerated in prison will now be eligible for consideration for resentencing.
This will save CA BILLIONS of dollars.
At least 50% of all persons sentenced to state prison from LA are rated low-risk to reoffend by prison officials.
95% of individuals who have served 20 years or more are rated low-risk to reoffend.
These excessive sentences are NOT making us safer.
Where do we start?
How many billions of dollars will it cost the state when violent crime, which is already spiking in Los Angeles, spikes further? When parents are murdered and leave children without one or both parents? When victims of violent crime have PTSD and are unable to work and support themselves and can’t pay for their mental health treatment?
My office will prioritize consideration for ppl convicted of nonviolent crimes, those deemed low risk for release, ppl with demonstrated records of rehabilitation, older individuals, ppl who are especially at risk for COVID-19, and ppl sentenced to adult prison terms as children.
The resentencing process will be a significant undertaking and will include input from victims and victim advocates. The @AmityFoundation, in partnership with the Returning Home Well initiative, have promised to assist everyone resentenced.
According KTLA reporter Christina Pasucci, Gascon said after his swearing-in that hundreds of these offenders who’ll be resentenced could be released as early as Tuesday.
His office says hundreds of people could be eligible to be released from jail as early as tomorrow, & Gascon will order 20,000 + cases to be reviewed to retroactively take away enhancements that resulted in longer jail time. He is also ending cooperation requirements for victims.
— Christina Pascucci (@ChristinaKTLA) December 7, 2020
Will their victims be properly notified?
Gascon still wasn’t done.
In the 80s & 90s, America defunded public housing & mental health.
We turned public health problems into criminal ones – the results were disastrous.
Now, we will begin diverting 1st time low-level misdemeanors into services instead of criminalizing homelessness & poverty.
For decades we attached felony consequences to low-level offenses. It foreclosed job & housing opportunities, exacerbated recidivism, crime & homelessness, & created more victims.
Don’t even get me started about turning public health problems into criminal ones. Gascon does have one good point – the gutting of mental health programs has significantly contributed to mentally ill folks, who are unable to provide for their basic needs, being consigned to an undignified, nonproductive life on the streets, and lack of access to the medications they need to control their mental illness has led many to self-medicate with illicit drugs. But again, Gascon’s solution is what?
We must design a system that actually listens to, protects, and restores victims.
Beginning immediately, victims will no longer be required to testify to receive victim services.
But how will you be restoring victims when you don’t allow prosecutors to file gang or gun enhancements? And how can you gain a conviction without the victim testifying? Sometimes you can, but lots of times you can’t.
And now to the policy that shows just how Gascon views law enforcement.
And this office will extend victim services to families of those killed by law enforcement.
I have already pledged to re-open four fatal officer-involved shootings.
My office will now convene a Use of Force Review Board to review fatal use of force cases dating back to at least 2012.
We must hold police accountable to restore trust in law enforcement.
At least 2012? What would BLM say if Gascon wanted to use a perpetrator’s 8-year-old record against him as an enhancement? Oh, that’s right. Gascon already took that off the table. Gascon went on, accusing law enforcement of “stripping entire communities of their liberties,” and asserting that “racist policies…created more victims…and shattered our moral compass.”
Gascon ends by making no bones about his intent.
Taken together these sweeping reforms are intended to permanently change the course of CA’s criminal justice system & end the era of mass incarceration in Los Angeles & beyond.
But stay tuned. There’s more to come.
No, please. But there is more to come; Gascon has already sent out a directive with a bunch of new policies to his staff, and I’ll be reporting on that in a few hours. As a hint: It has a lot to do with critical race theory.
Here is exactly what’s going to happen. Now that gang members and their leaders know exactly what the parameters are, they’re going to start using juveniles to take out rivals – since the juveniles will not be charged as adults. Gang investigators, knowing that gun and gang enhancements won’t be filed, will have little motivation to vigorously investigate gang crimes, especially knowing that their lives are even more at risk and that Gascon looks at them as the bad guy and not the actual criminals.
Then, when adult gang members are actually charged with crimes, a significant number of them will be acquitted because evidence showing their motive won’t be admissible in court – if they show up, that is. Crimes committed by people awaiting trial will skyrocket.
The City of Angels weeps.