Newly elected Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón announced plans to enact sweeping reforms— including ending cash bail and the death penalty—while being sworn in on Tuesday.
According to CNN, Gascón’s plan to immediately end cash bail for specific crimes could see hundreds of currently incarcerated people released as soon as tomorrow. While these releases would be a part of a new pretrial release policy, Gascón also announced that his office would begin working towards ending bail in the whole county starting Jan.1, 2021.
“The money bail system is as unsafe as it is unjust,” Gascón said. “The rich can be dangerous while the poor impose zero threat to society.” The amount of money a person has in their bank account does not determine the danger they pose to their community, he added.
While bail advocates have long said that cash bail requirements often criminalize the poor, ending the practice may not have widespread support among Californians. Proposition 25, a ballot measure that would eliminate cash bail, failed among California voters last month. An unofficial tally from California’s secretary of state revealed that 56 percent of voters went against the measure.
Predictably, the cops weren’t about this move, because when are they ever about anything that treats people like humans?
“As homicides, shooting victims, and shots fired into occupied homes soar in Los Angeles, it’s disturbing that Gascón’s first act in office is to explore every avenue possible to release from jail those responsible for this bloodshed,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League said in a statement. “Victims and law-abiding residents lost a voice today while criminals and gang members gained an ally in the prosecutor’s office.”
Why are they acting like this is available exclusively to alleged murderers? There is a litany of non-violent crimes that a person could be incarcerated for. Gascón himself even said that the policy mainly extends to people incarcerated on misdemeanor or non-violent, non-serious felony offenses, so why are they talking about bloodshed?
Cops are just so damn extra about any attempt at creating a more equitable justice system. They are the biggest group of weirdos I’ve ever seen by far, and I say this as a man who’s attended many anime conventions.
Gascón also announced that his office will no longer be seeking the death penalty in cases, and will work to ensure those currently on death row will be resentenced to life in prison. “The death penalty does not make us safer,” Gascón said. “It’s racist, morally untenable, irreversible, and expensive. And today, it’s off the table.” He also announced that his office will also no longer charge children as adults, calling the practice “traumatic” and “dehumanizing.”
One of the more notable pledges Gascón made was to reopen multiple police use of force cases stemming from as far back as 2012, with plans to commission a “Use of Force Board,” composed of community members, civil attorneys and experts on policing to assist him with the endeavor.
“I recognize that these are big changes, but they are changes that will enable us to actually affect the truly vulnerable,” Gascón said while being sworn in. Gascón beat eight-year incumbent Jackie Lacey during last month’s elections.