New Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon barreled into office last month like a bull in a china shop, demanding an end to the criminalization of a whole host of crimes, insisting on a prosecutorial strategy that does not rely on “overincarcerating” criminals, and eliminating sentencing enhancements that courts can use to make sure a convict gets his just rewards. These proposals have been met with cheers from the far left, of course, but they haven’t been quite so popular among Gascon’s employees: The nearly 800 prosecutors who belong to the Association of Deputy District Attorneys of Los Angeles County.
On Wednesday, the union filed a civil lawsuit against Gascon, claiming that his policies are “invalid and illegal.”
“Los Angeles County prosecutors have been placed in an impossible position,” said the union’s vice president, Eric Siddall. “Do we follow our legal and ethical responsibilities and risk getting disciplined, even fired, by our new boss? Or do we follow his policy directives and risk losing our California State Bar Cards and, by extension, our ability to practice law anywhere in the state? We’re asking a court to answer those questions.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, prosecutors want the autonomy to decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to apply sentencing enhancements, and they resent being forced to obey an arbitrary and blanketed set of rules meant to make Gascon look like a progressive hero.
From the paper:
The union asserts that Gascón’s prohibition on enhancements for prior strikes violates the state’s three strikes law, which, in the union’s view, requires prosecutors to seek longer sentences for defendants with previous convictions.
The union also contends that Gascón, a local executive branch official, is encroaching on the authority of the courts in ordering his deputies to move to withdraw enhancements allegations. If a judge refuses those motions – as several have in recent weeks – line prosecutors have been instructed to file new charging documents without the enhancements. In doing so, the union argues, the district attorney’s office is making an end-run around the courts’ authority.
So far, Gascon shows no interest in backing down. He released a statement arguing that his woke take on prosecution is what’s best for L.A.: “Data shows these harsh tactics compromise our community’s long-term health and safety, create more hardened criminals and victims, and therefore are not in the interests of justice.”
Holding criminals accountable CREATES criminals. Who knew?
Just another in a series of strange lessons we’re all learning from the BLM/progressive left.