Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, who was elected with millions of dollars from billionaire left-wing donor George Soros, marked his first 100 days in office Wednesday by claiming he had reduced prison sentences by over 8,000 years.
Gascon took office and immediately began making radical changes to criminal justice in Los Angeles County, ending the use of cash bail for most crimes, barring prosecutors from seeking the death penalty, and ending sentencing enhancements.
In a video address, Gascón also proudly recalled other reforms, such as taking steps to help victims of crimes committed by police, and ending the practice of trying minors as adults. He also claimed his reforms have saved the taxpayers money.
Gascon touted a “71% reduction in enhancements filed,” claiming that the change resulted in over 8,000 fewer years being served in prison by criminal defendants. (LAist reported the number as 8,172 years, noting that it could be even higher.)
The message came just days after an effort kicked off to recall Gascón, whose radical reforms to law enforcement and prosecution have provoked outrage, especially as the county finds itself in the midst of a wave of violent crime.
The D.A. has been sued by rank-and-file prosecutors, who won a preliminary injunction in court last month against some of Gascón’s reforms, at least as applied to pending cases. He also had to apologize to the family of a murder victim after telling them to “keep their mouth shut” at a public event. On Wednesday, Bill Melugin of local Fox affiliate KTTV-11 reported that Gascon had dropped charges on his first day in office against three radical anti-police activists who tried to derail a train.
Melugin noted that Gascón made his decision after meeting with Black Lives Matter activists. When veteran L.A. prosecutor Richard Doyle questioned Gascón’s decision to drop the case, he was reprimanded and transferred to a smaller office.
Moreover, Melugin reported that he had obtained audio recordings in which one of the suspects, calling from jail, asked his wife and an acquaintance if he should use his personal attorney, who was close to Gascón and contributed to his campaign.
In his presentation Wednesday, Gascón claimed that “science and data” supported his policies.
Eric Siddall, vice president of the Association for Deputy District Attorneys, called Gascón’s policies a “reckless experiment,” according to LAist.
In November, Gascón defeated incumbent Jackie Lacey, the first black woman to hold the post. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti initially endorsed Lacey for reelection, then flip-flopped and backed Gascón, as did many other leading Democrats.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.