L.A. County’s New D.A. Ends Cash Bail Among Other Reforms
George Gascón, the newly inaugurated district attorney of Los Angeles County, announced several policy changes that he plans to make while in office including putting an end to cash bail, stopping prosecutors from “enhanced” prison sentences and being less harsh to low-level offenders, and ending the “three-strikes” penalties rule.
“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 on Monday as he took the oath of office, the Los Angeles Times reported. “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.”
Gascón, the former San Francisco district attorney and Los Angeles Police Department assistant chief, is replacing Jackie Lacey, who he defeated last month in a contentious campaign for the office. Lacey lost the faith of voters when social justice protests targeted her for not prosecuting specific police shootings and for her “tough on crime” policies.
The new D.A. said he will reopen four of those police shooting cases and will create a use-of-force review board for the purposes of investigating the killings going back to 2012. Families of those killed will be able to consult with his office just like other crime victims.
In a thread of posts on Twitter, Gascón recounted his past experience as a police officer and how it has informed his viewpoint as a district attorney.
Gascón went on to say the new policies would be applied retroactively and as many as 20,000 people, who are currently incarcerated, will be eligible for resentencing consideration. He also pledged to end death penalty prosecutions from his office, diverting first-time low-level offenses into public services and ending the requirement for crime victims to testify in order to receive victim services.