The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) of Los Angeles County sued newly-installed, George Soros-backed District Attorney George Gascón on Wednesday over his recent orders to reduce sentence enhancements for certain crimes.
Gascón took office earlier this month and immediately announced radical changes, including an end to cash bail, a ban on the death penalty, and a prohibition on extended sentences for exacerbating circumstances, such as using a gun or belonging to a gang.
The new rules affected ongoing cases, such as a case involving a suspect charged with a double murder, including that of L.A. Sherrif’s Deputy Gilbert Solano. After intense public criticism and n outcry from the officer’s family, Gascón restored some enhancements, though only for a limited set of circumstances, such as hate crimes, child abuse, or sex trafficking.
BREAKING: Just days after new LA DA George Gascon said there would be “no exceptions” to his getting rid of all enhancements, he is changing course. Enhancements for hate crimes, elder abuse, child abuse, sex trafficking, financial crimes, etc will now be allowed. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/CvyKvoHQPI
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 18, 2020
The ADDA lawsuit seeks an injunction against Gascón’s new policy on sentences, saying that it violates California state law.
NEW: @LACountyADDA, the union representing nearly 1,000 L.A. County prosecutors, has filed a lawsuit against their boss, D.A. George Gascon, arguing that his directives to end enhancements, special circumstances, strikes, violate state law. Asking judge for an injunction. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/ZVIrQ9sFn6
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— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 30, 2020
In a statement, the ADDA explained:
As detailed in the lawsuit, the directives violate California law, which imposes a mandatory duty on prosecutors to plead and prove strike priors. Dismissals of those priors can only be based on individual circumstances, not a blanket policy. Similarly, special circumstance allegations that will result in a life without parole sentence cannot be dismissed under the section cited by the directive.
“Los Angeles County prosecutors have been placed in an impossible position. 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,” stated ADDA Vice President Eric Siddall.
Later on Thursday, the L.A. Superior Court ordered the D.A. to respond to the lawsuit, and the ADDA withdrew its request for a temporary restraining order to allow the case to be heard expeditiously.
Gascón tried to defend his policy on Twitter:
People must be held accountable, but we often put ppl in prison for extra years, increasing recidivism & creating more victims.
This is unsafe, unjust & wastes taxpayer $.
Prosecutors enter an appearance “for the people” & the decisions we make must be in the people’s interest.
— George Gascón (@GeorgeGascon) December 31, 2020
He also cited an editorial in the Los Angeles Times praising him and calling on the state to reform its “irrational” laws on enhancing sentences.
Gascón is one of several left-wing prosecutors backed by Soros in recent elections. He previously served as district attorney in San Francisco, during a rise in petty crime that made the city notorious for its deterioration.