By Rena Abdusalam
LOS ANGELES, CA – District Attorney of the Los Angeles County, George Gascón, commented on a variety of topics last week through his Q&A session on Twitter, #AskTheDA, ranging from resentences to DA employees, by using short twitter episodes.
During episode two of the Q&A series, Gascón was asked by a Twitter user if there had been any investigations of the recent bullying and harassing of DDAs by others to vote in favor of the recall. Gascón only replied that the law prohibits him from discussing personal matters.
When inquired if his orders to not enforce the Three Strikes Law was illegal before being given, Gascón said he believes that all his policies are legal.
“In fact, the California Supreme Court has just granted my request to appeal the decision you referenced. Oral Arguments is predicted to begin early next year,” responded Gascón.
He added the California Constitution gives discretion to district attorneys to determine the claimed charges and enhancements, which he fully intends to utilize fairly and in the name of justice.
Episode four was primarily focused on a specific question a user asked: Why did Gascón agree to the exclusion of resentences to prisoners that are serving immense sentences for offenses such as unarmed robberies and burglaries?
“We decided that in order to fairly exercise the power granted to us by the legislature, we need to prioritize those cases that are most vulnerable and the lowest risk of reoffending,” said Gascón. “As you can imagine, there’s a large number of cases that meet this criteria. That’s why we have developed and published priorities for reviewing these cases.”
Gascón added the attorneys start with cases that have circumstances of those accused who are more than 50 years old, at least 10 years in prison, in custody for a non-violent offense, or charged when an adolescent.
“We review these cases very carefully…my staff reviews hundreds of pages of prison records and at the end we submit our recommendation to the court. (which) will make the final determination,” Gascón said. “This is a lengthy process that takes significant time and resources.”
Gascón cited the Los Angeles County District Attorney website, letting the questioner know that the up-to-date information on resentences are on there and reporting, “They can be viewed on our website, but rest assured, my staff is working diligently to make sure that each and every case is evaluated carefully. I appreciate your patience.”