Crime victims and law enforcement officials announced Saturday they are launching a recall campaign against Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, whose 2020 campaign was funded by billionaire oligarch George Soros, with more than $2.5 million. Gascón ran for District Attorney on a promise of turning the court system upside down, and eliminating cash bail.
The announcement came on the heels of a motion filed last week in a double murder case seeking to disqualify DA Gascón for among other issues, hiring a former public defender to write his Youth Justice policy when she was still a Deputy Public Defender, representing criminal defendants, allegedly benefitting her criminal clients. DA Gascón ordered the double murder case to stay in juvenile court, despite that the perpetrator was 17 years-old and only weeks away from his 18th birthday when he was arrested, which means the most he would get, if convicted, would be about seven years in the murder of the two young women, Fox11 reported.
Organizers of the recall campaign plan to gather the signatures needed to file an intent to recall during a “Victims Vigil” at the downtown LA Hall of Justice.
The recall effort needs valid signatures from 10% of registered voters in the county, or about 590,000 people, to qualify for the ballot. Organizers say they’ll actually aim for about 200,000 additional signatures since many could be thrown out for various reasons, LA Daily News reported.
Crime victims, law enforcement officials to launch recall effort against George Gascón https://t.co/XvWpFLog5Y
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) February 28, 2021
Within weeks of being sworn in as Los Angeles County’s District Attorney, the Globe reported Gascón, issued radical, unlawful “Special Directives,” commanding the deputy district attorneys of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to violate California’s constitution and laws:
- With respect to future cases, the Special Directives prohibit DDAs from charging mandatory criminal sentencing enhancements under the Three Strikes Law, which California enacted to protect its citizens from previously-convicted serious and violent felons; and
- With respect to pending cases, the Special Directives require DDAs to withdraw all pre-existing enhancement allegations for six different types of sentencing enhancements. These provisions are plainly illegal. DDAs cannot be commanded to violate the very sentencing enhancements that California law mandates.
The Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County (ADDA) filed a civil lawsuit against DA George Gascón asking that Gascón follow California state constitutional and statutory law. These laws, enacted by the voters and the state legislature, tested and deemed constitutional by the judiciary, must be respected by the executive, the ADDAs say.
Their lawsuit targets four separate directives issued by the District Attorney that ignore or violate state law.
As California Globe reported, “Gascón is the architect of Proposition 47 which largely decriminalized theft and drug crimes by reducing those crimes and a number of other “non-violent” felonies to misdemeanors; and Prop. 57, which allows early release for “non-violent offenders,” including rape by intoxication of an unconscious person, human trafficking involving a sex act with minors, arson causing great bodily harm, drive-by shooting, assault with a deadly weapon, and hostage taking. These are so-called criminal justice reforms according to Gascón.”
The recall effort cannot officially launch until March 8, because a public official must be in office 90 days before a recall can be launched. Advocates “will have 160 days to collect the necessary signatures, which is equal 10% of the county’s more than 5.8 million registered voters or upwards of 580,000 signatures,” the Los Angeles Times reported.