CDAA and El Dorado County
El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson is president of the California District Attorneys Association, a training and advocacy group for prosecutors. In a press release, CDAA “expressed grave concern regarding some of the new Los Angeles County District Attorney’s policies.”
CDAA will file an amicus brief in the lawsuit brought by the ADDA over Gascon’s new policies.
Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer wrote a scathing letter in the Bakersfield Californian. Describing Gascon’s policies as “an exciting opportunity” for criminals, she invited them to leave her county and go to Los Angeles. She said that Gascon had abandoned victims of crime and been an ally to criminals.
Zimmer discussed Gascon’s directive to not file strike offenses. She said, “Ironically, on the day he swore an oath to uphold the laws of California, Gascon immediately vowed to break them.” “For you criminals, that means the new LA DA is literally willing to break the law to ensure you don’t face the punishment you deserve!”
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert spoke with the California Globe about Gascon. George Gascón has never been nor will he ever be a real prosecutor,” Schubert said. “The core principle of being a real prosecutor is standing up for victims’ rights. Within two minutes of being sworn in as the District Attorney of Los Angeles County, he made it abundantly clear that crime victims and protecting the public against violent criminals does not matter to him.” She had endorsed Gascon’s opponent, incumbent DA Jackie Lacey.
On January 12, 2021, Schubert wrote a letter informing Gascon that he would no longer have jurisdiction over any cases involving Sacramento County.
Lisa Smittcamp, the District Attorney of Fresno County sent a scathing letter to George Gascon. She said, “Your Special Directives are extreme, and they are already wreaking havoc on crime victims and ignoring their Constitutional rights,” Smittcamp wrote. “Your lack of concern for victim’s rights and public safety is of great concern to all of us who pride ourselves on protecting those very things. Crime has no boundaries, and these Special Directives will certainly impact areas outside of Los Angeles County.”
“Criminals, like all human beings, need structure, guidance, authority, rules and order to chart a productive path,” Smittcamp wrote. “Your directives encourage a lack of accountability and responsibility for criminal activity. By discounting their responsibility to be productive members of society, you are hurting them too.”
San Diego County
San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan said the new special directives were not in the interests of justice, when she revoked her permission to prosecute an accused robber and cop-killer. She revoked permission after learning that Gascon intended to dismiss the enhancements, which would put parole back on the table for the killer. Gascon replied that the killer would still have to serve 70 years before being eligible for parole. Stephan correctly pointed out that this was not true; he would be eligible for elder parole at age 50, in just 20 years. She also pointed out that Gascon banned his deputies from appearing at parole hearings, including in this case. Stephan said, “I can no longer trust that this DA’s policies will abide by the law.”
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer appeared on Fox News and criticized Gascon. He warned his constituents about the “experiment” that LA was running. He pointed out that Gascon authored Prop 47 and previously ran San Francisco into the ground. “Los Angeles is out of control.”
On Twitter, he said, “I cannot allow what’s happening in Los Angeles to spill into Orange County.”
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley endorsed Nancy Tung in her 2019 bid to unseat Gascon in San Francisco. O’Malley hired Tung after Tung fled Gascon’s office as part of a mass exodus upon his appointment.
Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen supported Prop 47, which was authored by Gascon. On October 26, 2020, he signed an amicus brief along with Gascon opposing the death penalty. The brief was authored by Erwin Chemerinsky, who also supported Gascon.
San Francisco County
Chesa Boudin succeeded George Gascon as the District Attorney of San Francisco County. He has been a strong supporter of Gascon’s since the beginning. Boudin was described as Gascon’s ideological successor. They founded Prosecutor’s Alliance of California, a criminal justice advocacy group.
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