Laws exist for a reason. Sometimes those reasons are dumb and incomprehensible, but they’re still there for a reason. While some will refuse to comply with the law for whatever reason, including the belief that the law is unjust, no one is above the law. That’s what we mean when we claim the United States is a nation of laws, not a nation of men.
However, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon apparently thinks he is, and now his prosecutors are taking him to court.
As Jazz Shaw writes over at our sister site, Hot Air:
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon hasn’t even been in office for a month yet but he’s been making more headlines than the pandemic. Unfortunately for Gascon (and the citizens of his county), few of those breaking news items have been of the good variety. The wildly liberal, anti-cop DA has been working overtime to empty the jails and prevent the prosecution of criminals, even as crime rates have been surging in the City of Angels. The latest news out of his office won’t be changing that pattern at all. His own prosecutors are going to court to ask a judge to block their new boss’s orders and prevent them from having to break the law themselves by carrying out his directives. And it looks like they have a pretty solid case. (Fox News)
The union representing Los Angeles County deputy district attorneys is expected to ask a judge to block their new boss George Gascon from easing up on sentences; William La Jeunesse reports.
Prosecutors in Los Angeles County are asking a judge for an order that would keep them from enforcing new directives from District Attorney George Gascón that would require them to be lenient in their sentencing recommendations for specified types of offenders.
The Association of Deputy District Attorney’s for Los Angeles County (ADDA) claimed in a lawsuit filed that the directives would mean violating state laws that require enhanced sentences in certain cases.
While the prosecutors have plenty to complain about regarding their new boss, this specific suit is once again focusing on special circumstances and sentencing enhancements which are mandated by law for particularly heinous crimes and repeat offenders. Gascon has tried to forbid the use of enhanced sentences, but that order flies in the face of existing state laws. The Deputy Prosecutors are left in the position of either defying the DA’s instructions or becoming lawbreakers themselves, hence the lawsuit.
While prosecutors often have discretion as to who they prosecute for what crimes, there are times they don’t have a lot of say. That includes these sentencing enhancements, apparently. These aren’t really up to the prosecutors but are mandated by state law.
I get that Gascon doesn’t like them or agree with them, but if they’re mandated, he doesn’t get a say in whether his prosecutors use them or not. It’s simply not his call.
If it’s that big of an issue, the place to address it is in the legislature or by challenging those enhancements in court. Gascon, as a free citizen, is certainly in a position to try and do both of those.
Rather than that, though, he wants to grandstand about how he’ll do no such thing, all while his city is burning down around him as violent crime surgest all throughout the city. What Gascon wants to do is get these same violent felons back out on the street as soon as possible, which is unlikely to yield anything good for the law-abiding citizens of L.A. County.
Of course, Gascon doesn’t really care about them. He just wants to check off his liberal credentials so he can seek higher office soon enough.
In the meantime, though, he needs to deal with a lawsuit from his own prosecutors. Frankly, I think Gascon is going to get slapped down and slapped down hard on this one. He’s out of line and I hope the courts tell him that in no uncertain terms.