12 December 2020 :
LA County DA Gascon To Eliminate Cash Bail, Will Re-Sentence Death Penalty Inmates.
The county’s lead prosecutor announced sweeping changes Monday for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, including the elimination of cash bail for misdemeanor and some felony offenses.
Newly sworn-in George Gascon announced Monday "Special Directive 20-11, the new Death Penalty Policy", effective from December 8.
Gascon, 66, told reporters he is taking the death penalty “off the table” and will seek to re-sentence inmates on death row to life in prison.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is one of the most powerful county prosecuting offices in the nation, representing more than ten million people. With 225 death-row prisoners, Los Angeles has the nation’s most populous county death row. By itself, the county accounts for more than 31% of California’s death row and just under 9% of the nation’s death-row total.
County prosecutors will no longer seek cash bail for any misdemeanor or non-violent, non-serious felony offenses.
Attorneys who have clients behind bars awaiting trial on any of the affected offenses can immediately schedule a hearing to revisit bail and his office won’t contest their release.
The former San Francisco prosecutor also declared he won’t file any gang enhancements in criminal complaints, saying they undermine rehabilitation, exacerbate racial inequities and unnecessarily crowd jails and prisons.
He also pledged to immediately end the practice of charging minors as adults, and will make victims’ services available to families of those shot and killed by law enforcement officers.
The District Attorney’s office will also not require victims of crime to testify against perpetrators in order to gain access to victims’ services.
Gascon, a retired Los Angeles police officer, has served as both police chief and district attorney for San Francisco. As that city’s lead prosecutor, Gascon authored a ballot measure to reduce some felonies to misdemeanors, including some thefts, which led San Francisco to have the nation’s highest property crime rate per capita in the U.S., according to the Associated Press.