George Gascón, L.A.’s New Progressive D.A., Becomes Target Of Recall Effort
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 03: George Gascón, candidate for Los Angeles District Attorney, speaks during a drive-in election night watch party at the LA Zoo parking lot on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.
Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Activists in Los Angeles announced the launch of a recall campaign targeting District Attorney George Gascón, whom they have accused of “setting violent habitual criminals loose into our neighborhoods” in the days since he took office.

The launch event, billed as a “Victim’s Vigil,” was held downtown at the Hall of Justice, and organizers said roughly 100 people attended, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“He promised a softer and gentler criminal justice system that would reduce incarceration rates for minor offenders and place increased focus on mental health and addiction issues that plague our communities,” reads the recall effort’s website. “But the moment he was sworn in as District Attorney, George Gascón instituted a series of directives to the prosecutors in his command that have nothing to do with a progressive approach to prosecution and have everything to do with a radical agenda that ignores victims, disregards the law and endangers the lives and livelihoods of all Angelenos.”

Gascón, elected as a progressive prosecutor in November 2020, swiftly enacted a series of policy changes that have been criticized by law enforcement, prosecutors, and the families who have been affected by violent crime. “Quite honestly it was a gut punch,” said Tania Owen, who was informed in December that prosecutors would not seek life without parole for the man accused of murdering her husband, reports the L.A. Times.

The recall effort cannot formally begin until Gascón has been in office for 90 days, according to the L.A. Times. Once 90 days have passed, organizers must gather 20 signatures and submit a notice of intent. Once the notice has been approved, organizers will need to collect roughly 580,000 valid signatures, the equivalent of 10% of the number of L.A. residents who voted in the last election, within 160 days. 

Gascón was sworn in on December 7, 2020, a day he observed would “usher in a new era of criminal justice, and transform the largest criminal justice jurisdiction in America.”

The policy changes he announced that day included the end of cash bail, the end of sentencing enhancements which he called a “legacy of the ‘tough-on-crime’ era” the end of the three-strikes policy, and the end to prosecutors seeking the death penalty, a punished that Gascón called “racist, morally untenable, irreversible, and expensive.”

As The Daily Wire previously reported, “A Los Angeles judge recently issued a preliminary injunction temporarily barring Gascón from directing prosecutors to drop sentencing enhancements in active cases,” a response to a lawsuit from the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorney’s, which represents the nearly 1,000 deputy district attorneys who work under Gascón. 

Only days later, Gascón announced that he was resigning from the California District Attorney’s Association, which filed an amicus brief in the case L.A. organization’s case against him, and criticized the California association for not having “a single person of color” on their board. The organization’s leader, in turn, accused him of engaging in a “publicity stunt,” arguing that he hadn’t been a member for several years, reports Fox News. 

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Related: Judge Rejects New L.A. County D.A.’s Move To Drop Special Charges Against Alleged Cop Killer

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