LA County DA Gascón’s progressive policies draw ‘no confidence’ votes from 17 cities.
An effort to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón appears to be gaining some momentum with at least 17 cities in the county issuing “no confidence” votes over his progressive criminal justice policies, according to a report.
Gascón, elected last November after arriving from San Francisco, has faced backlash for his stances on trying to end the death penalty in the county, removing special circumstance charges that can lengthen murder sentences and his opposition to the cash bail system.
Some of the families of crime victims have accused Gascón of siding with defendants — and around 20,000 inmates could be resentenced under his policies.
“The sad truth … is that he has revictimized me and my family,” Desiree Andrade, whose 20-year-old son was beaten and stabbed and thrown off a cliff to his death, said at a news conference supporting the recall last month.
“He has total, utter disregard for us victims. You, George Gascón, have put criminals before victims.”
Prosecutors removed the special circumstance charges for her son’s alleged killers, meaning they won’t face the possibility of life without parole.
Critics of the DA officially launched the required signature-gathering effort last month to get the recall question on the ballot in 2022. By Tuesday, the following cities had all given Gascón a vote of “no confidence”: San Gabriel, Santa Clarita, Beverly Hills, Pico Rivera, Whitter, La Mirada, Covina, Rosemead, Azusa, Santa Fe Springs, Diamond Bar, Redondo Beach, Arcadia, Manhattan Beach, Temple City, Palos Verdes Estates and Lancaster, according to FOX 11 in Los Angeles. The resolutions are nonbinding.
Last month, Max Szabo, a Gascón spokesman, defended him against the growing criticism.
“The DA is the people’s lawyer. That means the victim and also means the community and when we go into court and we say for the people that has to have meaning. That doesn’t mean that we simply represent victims, it means we represent the victims of the entire community,” he said, according to FOX 11.
“What does that mean? That means that we are not going to seek sentences that we know lead to more recidivism and frankly create more victims of crime.”
Organizers need to get signatures from 10% of county voters, around 590,000, by this fall to trigger the recall vote.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is also facing an almost certain recall election this fall with the effort receiving more than the required number of signatures. But its momentum seemed to be sputtering with most businesses having reopened as vaccinations increase and polls showing more people opposed to his ouster than for it.
Before arriving in Los Angeles County, Gascón, a 67-year-old native of Cuba, served as district attorney in San Francisco County from 2011 to 2019 and was San Francisco’s police chief from 2010 to 2011.