Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón has asked a local judge to reverse the death penalty handed down to a murderer who executed two innocent college students, one from Japan, in a car hijacking in the parking lot of a grocery store in 1994.
The controversial prosecutor, who won election in 2020 with the help of the Democratic Party establishment and millions of dollars in spending from left-wing billionaire George Soros, vowed to end the death penalty as soon as he took office.
He continues to pursue that goal, despite a massive crime wave and a likely recall election in November, the result of the largest-ever petition drive in Los Angeles County among angry residents.
The Los Angeles Daily News reported Wednesday:
In a 264-page resentencing recommendation filed earlier this month in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Gascón said Raymond Oscar Butler, who was 18 when he killed Takuma Ito and Go Matsuura, should instead be resentenced to life in prison without parole because at the time he suffered “significant, cognitive impairment,” meaning his brain was not developed enough to regulate his behavior.
“District Attorney Gascón remains committed to ending the death penalty in Los Angeles because it is racist in its application, morally untenable, irreversible, expensive and it has never been shown to deter crime,” Risling said.
Eric Siddall, vice president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, which represents about 800 Los Angeles County prosecutors, said Gascón position is at odds with jurisprudence.
This is not the first case in which Gascón has sought a reduced sentence. Shortly after taking office, Gascón sought reduced penalties for a man accused of murdering two people, including Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputy Joseph Solano.
Gascón has only continued to advocate for reduced sentences since then, often over the objections of his own prosecutors. Few elected Democrats have spoken out against him, including Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who endorsed Gascón in 2020 and appointed him as local district attorney during his tenure as mayor of San Francisco.
Gascón presided over that city’s descent into petty crime, homelessness, and open-air drug use before coming to Los Angeles to challenge incumbent Jackie Lacey. Lacey had been the first black woman to hold the job but was faulted by Black Lives Matter for supporting law enforcement.
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). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. 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.