Los Angeles County is set to officially rescind on Thursday its controversial zero bail policy that put criminal suspects back on the streets before trial. The decision comes as embattled District Attorney George Gascon faces a possible recall election this fall in the face of soaring crime throughout the L.A. area.
The zero bail policy will expire at the close of business on Thursday, according to an internal e-mail obtained by Breitbart News. Prosecutors will now be able to seek cash bails for defendants accused of misdemeanors and low-level felonies who would have been released at $0 under the old rule.
The L.A. District Attorney’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment from Breitbart News.
Under the zero bail policy, prosecutors were forbidden from seeking cash bail for most misdemeanors and low-level felonies, including smash-and-grab robberies that have plagued L.A. County in recent months. The policy was put in place in mid-2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, officially as a way of reducing the county’s prison population.
The policy has remained in effect despite the decline of the pandemic. Some have blamed now-D.A. George Gascon, citing his soft-on-crime approach to criminal justice reform that includes his plan to eliminate all money bail in the county.
“Money bail is as unjust as it is unsafe,” he said. “It can destroy families and it weakens our communities.”
The result has been an enormous spike in crime throughout L.A. ,with robberies up 18 percent so far this year and armed robberies up a stunning 44 percent in L.A. city.
As Breitbart News reported, Gascon announced in May that he was backing down on his policy of eliminating cash bail for defendants.
A spokesperson for L.A. Superior Court told Breitbart News the May announcement isn’t related to this week’s rescinded zero bail policy.
George Gascon, whose campaign for D.A. was backed in part by leftist billionaire George Soros, is facing a recall effort that is looking to remove him from office. The petition effort has so far accumulated 566,857 voter signatures, which organizers said is enough to put a recall on the ballot in the next election.
“The campaign is now focused on collecting as many additional signatures as possible to ensure there is a necessary cushion to cover those that are invalidated by the Registrar,” organizers said this month. “The goal is to ultimately submit 650,000 – 700,000 total signatures, or even more if possible.”
Hollywood liberal power players have also joined the effort to recall Gascón. Among the showbiz liberals who have donated to the recall campaign are studio honcho Mike Medavoy and his wife, Irene Meadavoy; Oscar-winning Argo producer Grant Heslov; and former 20th Century Fox executive and producer Jonathan Sheinberg, according to documents obtained by Los Angeles magazine.
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