By Elizabeth Marcellino
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously authorised a measure Tuesday, Feb. 23, to make sure that crime victims’ rights stay a precedence for the District Legal professional’s Workplace.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger submitted a movement recommending that county attorneys present an evaluation of the Victims’ Invoice of Rights Act of 2008 and associated state legal guidelines and the county insurance policies that assist these legal guidelines.
Barger additionally requested that attorneys assessment any related pending court docket circumstances, together with one earlier than the California Supreme Courtroom on money bail.
“Below the California Structure, victims have the best to have their security thought-about all through the legal justice course of — a duty that rests with the district lawyer’s workplace, amongst different legal justice entities,” Barger’s movement reads partly. “Proposition 9 was authorised by the voters to cement the protections for victims statewide and will stay a high precedence for our county.”
In the course of the supervisors’ board assembly, Barger thanked District Legal professional George Gascon for a letter in assist of her movement and his staff’s work together with her workers. She then quoted Gascon’s personal phrases from his particular directive 20-12: “Supporting victims of their journey to turning into survivors is key to group security,” and “the Los Angeles County District Legal professional’s Workplace will pursue a system of parallel justice, the place we not solely search authorized prosecution of offenders, but in addition present assist companies for victims.”
Along with the authorized evaluation, Barger additionally steered rising the variety of sufferer advocates offering companies, together with disaster intervention, counseling referrals, help in searching for restitution and assist navigating the court docket system.
The decision for authorized evaluation comes as Gascon has moved to dramatically overhaul the county’s legal justice system by means of a collection of unilaterally imposed “particular directives” since taking workplace in early December.
The coverage modifications, which embrace now not searching for loss of life sentences and abandoning sentencing enhancements that would result in lifetime imprisonment for all however probably the most egregious crimes, have drawn hearth and authorized challenges from Gascon’s personal prosecutors and different present and former district attorneys.
In a single case involving the killing of two 6-year-old boys by a convicted intercourse offender, Orange County District Legal professional Todd Spitzer moved to cost the defendant in his personal jurisdiction in case Los Angeles County dropped the particular circumstances allegations. One of many boys lived in and was kidnapped from Orange County.
The defendant in that case, Kenneth Rasmuson, pleaded no contest Monday to 2 homicide counts and is predicted to be sentenced to life in jail with out the potential for parole.
In different Los Angeles Superior Courtroom circumstances, judges have denied motions to dismiss sentencing enhancements, ruling that prosecutors have failed to point out that dismissal can be within the furtherance of justice.
None of Barger’s colleagues provided any touch upon the movement earlier than their vote in assist. Nevertheless, the mom of an 18-year-old man shot, stabbed and overwhelmed by a mob of males at a Pomona celebration in 2009 condemned Gascon.
“George Gascon. Disgrace on you!,” mentioned Jessica Corde, the mom of Marquis LeBlanc. “You can not dismantle justice with a view to eliminate injustice.”
Corde mentioned she needed to request and assessment stunning pictures associated to her son’s homicide with a view to assist her household at a parole listening to, as a result of Gascon has instructed prosecutors to not seem at such hearings and provided “zero assist.”
Each Spitzer and the Los Angeles Affiliation of Deputy District Attorneys have accused Gascon of failing to implement state legislation and have argued for case-by-case consideration of sentencing enhancements quite than the wholesale software of recent guidelines.
Earlier this month, a decide dominated that the district lawyer’s transfer to cease using sentencing enhancements violates state legislation and that “three strikes” enhancements have to be charged, a call Gascon has vowed to enchantment.
The Los Angeles Occasions reported that greater than 10,000 defendants are presently going through prices with sentencing enhancements.
No less than two different progressive district attorneys in California have filed briefs in assist of Gascon, who argues that his insurance policies are obligatory to beat systemic racism and symbolize the need of voters, pointing to the two million Angelenos who voted to elect him. Gascon received his submit with 53.5% of the vote over incumbent Jackie Lacey, who picked up 46.5%.
His new insurance policies are largely consistent with the county board’s personal push for legal justice reforms, together with assist for eliminating money bail.