LA Prosecutors’ Union Finally Gets Off the Sidelines

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys is a union for deputy district attorneys in Los Angeles. They “strive to advance a work environment that allows our members to focus on their role as the primary guardians of justice in the courts.” Despite that language, the union has remained mostly silent as DA George Gascon has ordered his deputies to violate the Penal Code and ethical rules.

Today, the ADDA sent a letter to county officials, including Gascon, calling his orders in conflict with both the DA’s Office’s and individual prosecutor’s obligations under California law. They said they would request a temporary restraining order.

Gascon’s spokesman declined to comment and referred questions to his lawyer, the LA County Counsel’s Office.

It appears that Gascon is still working closely with Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley’s law school. NBC4 describes what happened.

Almost simultaneously an unsolicited statement was sent to reporters by the UC Berkeley Law School’s Three Strikes Project that said, “We are confident this attempt to obstruct the will of the voters will be struck down.” The Berkeley statement, quoting law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky and director of the Three Strikes Project Michael Romano, said that DA Association’s action shows it has a “longstanding opposition to reform.”

The union intends to go to court on December 30th. They are seeking “a writ of madate, declaratory relief and injunctive relief” against Gascon and the DA’s office.

Update

The lawsuit has now been filed. You can read the documents here. The LA times published a story about the lawsuit that mostly focused on whether enhancements are good or bad, not whether Gascon’s orders are illegal. At the same time, their editorial board wrote that enhancements were bad. The same board endorsed Gascon a few months ago. Some of the reader’s comments to this piece are insightful.

Gascon wrote a statement commending the court for denying LAADDA’s request for a temporary restraining order.

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