James Chalfant, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, has just issued a preliminary injunction preventing the new D.A. in Los Angeles County from implementing much of his agenda — a radical left-wing agenda that leans heavily in favor of coddling criminals.
The New D.A., George Gascon, says that his office “will adjust its policies to be consistent with this ruling,” but there is no doubt that he will continue to seek means to circumvent it and implement his policies regardless.
A Far-Left D.A. Comes in to Expand His Authority and Ease Up on Criminals
According to the Los Angeles Times, this ruling is related to a lawsuit that was filed late last year by the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County.
The lawsuit alleged that the D.A.’s stated policy goals and his chosen means of arriving at them illegally and improperly expanded his authority and also forced L.A. County prosecutors to violate the law.
Specifically, the law in question is California’s famous Three Strikes law, which was passed in 1994 and demanded that any defendant convicted of a felony for a third time be sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison. Among Gascon’s new directives, however, is one that prohibited county prosecutors from mentioning the prior convictions of defendants while they made arguments about sentencing and sentencing enhancements. Thus, L.A. County prosecutors were in effect ordered to ignore the Three Strikes Law.
In his 46-page ruling, judge Chalfant said, “A district attorney’s discretion is not unlimited. He or she must work within the framework of the criminal system.” Chalfant also barred Gascon from ordering prosecutors to dismiss sentencing enhancements in active cases. However, Gascon can still ban the filing of most sentencing enhancements in new cases.
Speaking to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, David Carroll, an attorney who represented the ADDA in its lawsuit, said that the issue at hand “has never been about whether sentencing enhancements are good or bad policy… but about whether a district attorney can force prosecutors to violate clear California law in order to carry out his denied policy changes.”
In response to the ruling, Gascon said that he “never had any illusions as to the difficulty and challenges associated with reforming a dated institution steeped in systemic racism.” He insisted that his “directives are a product of the will of the people, including survivors of crime…”