Breaking News: Johansson Formally Announces for DA

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Dean Johansson announces in front of Yolo Superior Courthouse, flanked by a few supporters

Flanked by supporters, and pledging to “provide justice for all,” longtime Yolo County Deputy Public Defender Dean Johansson formally announced Thursday morning that he is running for Yolo County District Attorney against three-time incumbent Jeff Reisig.  This will mark Mr. Reisig’s first electoral challenge since he was elected in 2006 against fellow Deputy DA Pat Lenzi by a 53-47 margin.

Mr. Johansson pulled no punches on Thursday.  He said, “The US leads the world in incarceration and Yolo County leads the State of California in incarceration.”

He called this “the county of incarceration” and said “countless children and families pay the price.”

Mr. Johansson blamed this on “the oppressive backward policies of the Yolo District Attorney.

“The DA has his hands on the spigot. He decides which cases to file and has discretion to implement laws,” he continued. “He has used that discretion to file cases that should not have been filed, charge people that should not have been charged, and to overcharge cases.”

Here is the full text of Dean Johansson’s comments…

Good Morning. My name is Dean Johansson and I’m here today to announce my candidacy for Yolo County District Attorney. But this is not about “me,” it’s about “we.” This is a community effort.

More appropriately, I’m here to announce a movement. This is a movement that is tired of seeing tax dollars wasted on mass incarceration while schools are leveled. I watched while Willow Spring Elementary at Gibson and 113 was bulldozed and is now a vacant lot, while a few blocks away a large addition was recently built on juvenile hall. End the school-to-prison pipeline.

In the past 20 years, 22 prisons have been built while only one new University of California campus has been built. Schools not prisons.

The US leads the word in incarceration and Yolo County leads the State of California in incarceration. Out of 58 counties, Yolo is one of the top 6 counties for per capita prison population. It is number one for jury trials. This is the county of incarceration and countless children and families pay the price.

Why, because of the oppressive backward policies of the Yolo District Attorney. The DA has his hands on the spigot. He decides which cases to file and has discretion to implement laws. He has used that discretion to file cases that should not have been filed, charge people that should not have been charged, and to overcharge cases.

While the people of Yolo have consistently voted in favor of progress, the Yolo DA consistently worked against it. Proposition 36 (reformed the three strikes law), 74% of Yolo County voted in favor but the DA remained neutral; Proposition 47 (reduced nonviolent offenses), 61 % voted in favor while the DA opposed; Proposition 57 (increased Parole Chances), 68% of Yolo voted in favor while the DA opposed; and Proposition 64 (legalized adult use of marijuana), 60% voted in favor while the DA opposed.

And this is a movement that is tired of seeing a system that has systematically picked on poor people, primarily black and brown people. This is a movement that is loudly telling government what it wants, and what it wants is criminal justice reform in ways that require transformational reform within the Yolo County District Attorney’s office.

This is a movement that says that we are not just the voters but we are the bosses that pay the taxes. That fund the salaries of the county workers and we have every right to expect that we will get transformational change in criminal justice and in this district attorney’s office.

It’s not me, it’s we. Then it goes to transition. If you or anyone you know shares these values, shares this desire for things to get better, for people to not be divided, for society to unite and bring things together.

If you believe it’s time for a humane legal system that looks to end crime by addressing the root of the problem.

If you believe it’s time to end mass incarceration, believe it is time to end the death penalty, if you believe it’s time to stop making prisoners of poor people by using cash bail. If you are sick and tired of government stealing our futures and the futures of our children, and if you have no intention of helping Trump’s immigration agenda, then join with me.

So how are we going to do that? Well I’ll tell you how we are going to do that – it starts with an election on June 5.

—David M. Greenwald reporting



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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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26 thoughts on “Breaking News: Johansson Formally Announces for DA”

  1. Keith O

    I may be wrong but something tells me that Reisig has nothing to worry about. I think when you get to the bottom of it people will tend to vote for who they perceive as the law and order candidate.

        1. Tia Will

          Being that it’s only criminals and other people of your ilk I doubt the group is all that large”

          I recommend that you recheck the percentages of voters in Yolo County vs the position taken by DA Reisig on those issues. While I believe that “hate” is to strong a word, I know many, many people who disapprove of the policies of DA Reisig and have been waiting for an opponent to emerge.

    1. Tia Will

      Keith

      “Law and order” is not synonymous with mass incarceration. As taxpayers, we pay a heavy price for incarceration when other management options would be more appropriate. We have a DA who favors incarceration and over charging over alternative management. The comparison between charging patterns, trials, and sentencing in Yolo County compared to other counties is testament to the practices of DA Reisig as an outlier, not only in comparison to the majority opinion in this county but also with regard to prosecutors in other counties.

      1. Tia Will

        Howard

        Fair enough and thanks for response. My only quibble is with the choice of the word “pander”. Is it pandering, on either side, if your positions reflect your true beliefs ?

  2. Keith O

    BTW since when is “of your ilk” acceptable?

    As in people who think or agree alike with the same views.

    John, even though I’m flattered that you like to troll me aren’t you being a little oversensitive here?

  3. Tia Will

    John

    Back up moderator comment. Using the following definition, while “ilk” is often used in a pejorative sense, there are more neutral interpretations. I looked it up prior to your comment to decide whether or not to use my vast moderators powers and decided to let it slide.

    a type of people or things similar to those already referred to.
    “the veiled suggestions that reporters of his ilk seem to be so good at”
    synonyms: typesortclasscategorygroupsetbreedstrainbracketgenremakemodelkindbrandvintagestampstylefamilyvariety

    “a film of this ilk comes packaged with a fair deal of violence” .
    1. John Hobbs

      I would not have posted in forum, except for the fact I have to log out to see the content, because the “ignore” function has no “restore” capability, if you hit “ignore” accidentally. Something I would imagine that could be easily remedied by a good web master.

      “Troll” would also seem to be pejorative in this context, even when used as a verb.

      1. Howard P

        There is a “fix”… David, Don, and/or Tia can probably assist you (re:  resetting the “ignore” feature)… had the same ‘problem’ (inadvertent, in my case), and got “healed”.  I suggest you ask them, “off-line”…

        As to the ‘pejoratives’, think the fable about the scorpion and the frog… particularly the ‘moral’…

    2. Keith O

      So John Hobbs, are you saying that you have me on ignore and have to go to all the trouble to sign out in order to read my comments then sign back in to respond?

      Now I’m really flattered.

  4. John Hobbs

    “you have me on ignore”

    Yup. I meant to report one of your off topic and insipid posts, but clicked the other button by mistake. Don’t be too flattered, I do the same for Ken A. “Ignore” is the root of ignorant, more up your line.

  5. Keith O

     “Ignore” is the root of ignorant, more up your line.

    LOL, for someone you consider ignorant you sure do go through a lot of effort to follow my every post?

    Just think about that John, you say I’m ignorant but you hang on my every word.

    I’m flattered.

     

  6. Moderator

    The comment section of the Vanguard would be much more useful and productive if various participants would stop sniping at each other. Please focus on the issues at hand and avoid the personal conflicts.

  7. Ron

    From article:  ” . . . if you believe it’s time to stop making prisoners of poor people by using cash bail.”

    Tia:  “We have a DA who favors incarceration and over charging over alternative management.”

    “Honest” questions:  What are the alternatives, while still ensuring public safety?  Are such practices already/effectively in place, elsewhere?

    As a side note, isn’t (most) of the bail returned?

     

     

    1. Howard P

      Think “insurance” Ron… cash bail can happen, but is not the norm…  if you have $1 million in liquid assets, do you need life insurance?

      Normal is bail bonds… “insurance”… ‘normal rate’ is 10%… cost of ‘doing business’… so, a defendant pays a non-refundable 10% “premium” for the bail amount.

      On cash bail, am pretty damn sure there are admin fees from the County, but probably “fixed” not %-age…

      1. Howard P

        I affirm… David and others are right… either no bail (incarceration from the get-go), or ROR…

        That is more just, but will cost the legal jurisdictions more… for the ones on the cusp, as it relates to ‘flight risk’… the jurisdiction will have to come up with food, board, supervision… “trade-offs”… we do not have a mechanism for charging folk for room, board, incarceration, court costs, etc. for folk found guilty… with no bail, that will also increase for the ‘not guilty’, but they won’t have to pay the 10% premium (for those who are deemed a flight risk).

        Ex.  a DUI with injury/damage… if a member of a prominent Davis family, ROR… otherwise, no bail if they are not a member or the community (like a UCD student from Fresno, for example)…

        Bail is just wrong… just cheaper for taxpayers… clearly abhorrent…

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