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Californians Have Had It: LA DA Loses Appeal After Not Enforcing Law, San Francisco DA Faces Recall

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The signs continue to grow that Californians have had enough of “progressive” district attorneys’ soft-on-crime policies as the futures of the top prosecutors of Los Angeles and San Francisco look very uncertain.

On Thursday, an appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling that Los Angeles DA George Gascon cannot refuse to charge criminals under the state’s three-strikes law, Fox News reported.

After Gascon took office in December 2020, he implemented a series of what he characterized as reforms designed to end “mass incarceration.”

“The measures included barring deputy DAs from prosecuting strikes, special circumstances and sentencing enhancements,” according to Fox.

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County responded by suing Gascon that same month to stop him from forcing them to break the law.

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“While an elected District Attorney has wide discretion in determining what charges to pursue in an individual case, that discretion does not authorize him or her to violate the law or to direct attorneys representing the district attorney’s office to violate the law,” Michele Hanisee, president of the ADDA, said in a December 2020 news release announcing the suit.

Fox reported, “California’s Three Strike Law was enacted in 1994 after voters approved Proposition 184 by an overwhelming majority.”

The law mandated at least a 25 years in prison to a life sentence for those convicted of a felony after two or more prior convictions, referred to as “strikes.”

A California appeals court sided with the ADDA on Thursday.

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“On the merits, we conclude the voters and the Legislature created a duty, enforceable in mandamus, that requires prosecutors to plead prior serious or violent felony convictions to ensure the alternative sentencing scheme created by the three strikes law applies to repeat offenders,” the ruling said.

“The district attorney overstates his authority. He is an elected official who must comply with the law, not a sovereign with absolute, unreviewable discretion,” the judges added.

Eric Siddall, vice president of the ADDA, celebrated the ruling, tweeting: “Today, the judiciary affirmed the rule of law. Gascón’s authority is not absolute. He must follow the rules.

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“While we are heartened by the Court’s ruling, we continue to be disappointed that LA’s chief prosecutor forced us to take him to court to stop him from breaking the law.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that homicides hit 397 in 2021, which was the highest number in 15 years and a 50 percent increase from 2019.

Robberies involving firearms were also up 57 percent from 2020 and 60 percent from 2019, and so far 2022 is outpacing 2021 at the same point in time.

“Violent crime of all types through April 23 was up 7.2% compared to last year, with much of the increase from aggravated assaults and robberies, many of which involved firearms, according to police. Robberies are up 18.5% over last year,” the Times said.

Angelinos sought to recall Gascon last year due to his soft-on-crime polices, but failed to gather enough signatures.

A second recall campaign has already collected over 500,000 signatures, with just 67,000 more needed by the July 6 deadline to qualify for the ballot, the group “Recall District Attorney George Gascon” said in Thursday news release.

Gascon was previously the district attorney in San Francisco, a position he was initially appointed to by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom. Gascon served from 2011 until 2019.

His progressive successor, Chesa Boudin, faces major discontent himself, due to a spike in violent crime.

In fact, Tuesday San Franciscans will vote whether to recall him, and polling suggests he is going down.

Like Gascon, Boudin has followed a soft-on-crime approach at a time when a firmer hand was needed, and the results were predictable.

“In 2021 homicides in San Francisco were up 36% compared to 2019. Last year 222 people were wounded or killed by gun violence in the city, compared to 137 in 2019,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

“Motor vehicle theft is up 36%, arson 40%, and larceny up 20% in 2021 compared to 2019. These official property crime numbers are likely low, as some victims no longer bother to report crimes they know won’t be investigated or punished,” the news outlet added.

Walgreens spent 46 times the chain average on security for its San Francisco locations and five have closed due to the high theft rate, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

And it appears city residents are finally fed up.

A May San Francisco Standard Voter Poll showed 57 percent of respondents favored recalling Boudin, while a mid-May poll conducted by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce found that 67 percent want him out.

In should be noted that in January, San Franciscans ousted three school board members from their city’s district who had become overly woke.

All this taken together means that “progressives” have apparently gone too far even for deep-blue California’s liking — and they’re going to pay for it at the polls.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith