LA DA George Gascon seeks appeal to California Supreme Court in battle over three-stroke case indictment

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FIRST ON FOX: Democratic Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon is again seeking to appeal a court’s findings that he is ‘exaggerating his authority’ and must indict the cases as required by California’s ‘three strikes’ law. .

Court records show Gascon’s attorneys filed a petition for review with the California Supreme Court on Tuesday.

In June, an appeals court upheld parts of a lower court injunction that said Gascon could not refuse to charge the three-strike cases, which can significantly increase prison sentences for some of the most serious repeat offenders.

The Second District Court of Appeals ruled that voters and the California Legislature ‘created an obligation, enforceable in mandamus’ that compels prosecutors to plead prior felony or violent felony convictions under the three strikes law of the state, which increases the penalties for repeat offenders.

LOS ANGELES DISTRICT ATTORNEY GEORGE GASCON ‘OVERESTIMATE HIS AUTHORITY’, CAN’T IGNORE CALIFORNIAN LAW, COURT RULES

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon speaks during a press conference, Dec. 8, 2021, in Los Angeles.
(Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

Gascon on Thursday called the appeals court’s decision a “dangerous precedent” and argued that it amounted to “taking the charging decision out of the hands of a prosecutor.”

“The Three Strikes Act imposes draconian penalties on defendants who have already been convicted of certain prior crimes,” he said. He also claimed that long sentences “increase recidivism rates, have little or no deterrent effect, and keep people in jail long after they pose a safety risk to their community.”

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His critics have argued the opposite – that some defendants deserve the punishment of imprisonment and have proven dangerous if released.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the city of Los Angeles has seen its homicide rate increase by more than 25% since the start of 2022 compared to 2020. And in the first full year in office de Gascon, the city of Los Angeles recorded 397 homicides – a 14-year high.

And Gascon was harshly criticized for policies that allowed a 26-year-old child molester to spend less than 6 months in a juvenile facility. He also got a five- to seven-month sentence in a “juvenile probation camp” for a hit-and-run driver who mowed down a mother and her toddler son on a Venice Beach side street.

DISCLAIMER GRAPHIC CONTENT:

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After Gascon took office in December 2020, he implemented a series of directives to unilaterally reform the way cases are prosecuted. The measures included banning assistant prosecutors from continuing strikes and other sentencing improvements.

“The district attorney is overstating his authority,” reads the decision of the second appellate district. “He is an elected official who must comply with the law, not a sovereign with absolute discretion and without control.”

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon speaks during a press conference, December 8, 2021, in Los Angeles, California.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon speaks during a press conference, December 8, 2021, in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

THE HEAD OF THE LA DA ASSOCIATION QUESTIONS WHEN GASCON WAS AWARE OF THE WORRYING PRISON CALLS FROM CHILDREN

“George Gascon dictated a general policy on December 7, 2020, that filing a strike history in any case is prohibited,” said Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney Jon Hatami. “He also ordered all prosecutors to remove strike histories from all existing cases. This meant child murderers, serial rapists, child molesters, sex traffickers and police killers who were career criminals.”

The edict prevented assistant prosecutors from using existing state law to fully prosecute repeat offenders, he said. They couldn’t consult old evidence or even ask Gascon for exceptions.

“We had to remove all strike history from existing cases and not allege it on new cases,” Hatami said. “Two courts have declared the order illegal and unethical. George will now spend taxpayers’ money challenging those decisions in the Supreme Court of California based on his ideology and political beliefs, instead to do what is right, just and fair, which is to follow the law, the evidence and the facts.”

READ THE SECOND COURT OF APPEALS DECISION:

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Gascon’s attorney, Stephanie Yonekura, did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

The Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorneys Association, a group of assistant prosecutors in his office, sued him in December 2020, arguing that the policies violated their rights and state law.

“Mr. Gascon now claims that last month’s appeal decision was ‘an unprecedented decision with untold consequences,’ said Eric George, the attorney representing LA ADDA in his lawsuit. “Compare that to his relationship strategy public statements last month that the decision, and I quote, somehow “affirmed his ability to pursue his political goals in advancing justice.”

He added that “Gascon is as dishonest as he is radical when it comes to enforcing the law”.

“Each of the four respected jurists who reviewed the case validated our client’s claims, and we are confident that the California Supreme Court will take no action to interfere with the injunction against Mr. Gascon,” he said. he declares.

The LA ADDA group also overwhelmingly endorsed a recall effort to oust Gascon from office over his controversial policies as the city sees an increase in violent crime.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon addresses police accountability and steps his office is taking to restore trust in the community during a press conference Wednesday, May 25, 2022 in Los Angeles, La California.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon addresses police accountability and steps his office is taking to restore trust in the community during a press conference Wednesday, May 25, 2022 in Los Angeles, La California.
(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

California’s Three Strikes Act was signed into law in 1994 after voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 184. It required defendants convicted of a new crime to serve twice the normal prison sentence. If convicted of a crime after two or more strikes, the law required that they serve at least 25 years in prison to life. The law has since been criticized by some who say it treats defendants too harshly and has led to high incarceration rates for minorities.

The appeal comes the same week Gascon announced he would disband the unit in his office responsible for informing victims of serious crimes about parole hearings for people who had harmed them.

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Gascon’s office told Fox News on Wednesday that notifying victims can be a “trigger” for them, that the task consumes resources, and that it is the responsibility of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to reach out to the place.

“When an elected prosecutor refuses to follow the law, disregards the facts, evidence or circumstances of the case, and is driven by politics rather than justice, you have George Gascon,” Hatami said. “Someone who accepted chaos and anarchy at the expense of public safety.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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