The union, which represents most of the prosecutors working in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, plans to seek an injunction from a judge on Wednesday that would prevent newly elected prosecutor George Gascon from implementing a number of reform policies that the Association deems unethical or even unethical to conduct illegal for prosecutors.
The Los Angeles District Assistant District Attorney’s Association sent a letter to district officials, including Gascon, sharing a number of prosecutor’s reform-oriented guidelines, including those preventing prosecutors from seeking penalty enhancements for previous Three Strike convictions and lump-sum orders Discharging other items from pending cases is contrary to both the DA Office and individual prosecutors’ obligations under California law.
A temporary injunction is required, the association said in the letter, as parts of Gascon’s policies require assistant prosecutors “… to violate the law, violate their oaths … and violate their ethical duties as court officials” wrote Eric M. George, an attorney for the association.
The Gascon spokesman confirmed the union action but declined to comment and referred questions to the LA County Counsel’s Office.
Almost at the same time, an unsolicited statement was sent to reporters from UC Berkeley Law School’s Three Strikes Project stating, “We are confident this attempt to obstruct the will of the electorate will be crushed.”
The Berkeley statement, quoting Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, and the Director of the Three Strikes Project, Michael Romano, said that the DA Association’s action shows that they “have long been against Reform is “.
“DA Gascon’s guidelines will improve health and safety in Los Angeles and initiate a much-needed process to reduce the level of mass incarceration in the epidemic,” the statement said.
The assistant prosecutor’s union hadn’t filed a complaint or petition in court on Tuesday afternoon, and a spokesman for the association said it had not made a statement or comment on the action.
The letter said the upcoming judicial petition will focus on Gascon’s policy prohibiting prosecutors from bringing up previous strikes under the state’s three-strike conviction initiative, arguing that assistant prosecutors have a “duty to plead and prove previous strikes “.
Under California law, the strike system can double prison sentences for those previously convicted of serious or violent crimes, and life imprisonment for 25 years for a third offense.
One of Gascon’s policies, issued on his first day in office, prohibited the use of strikes and asked prosecutors to reject “in the interests of justice” previously filed strike charges.
The association’s letter states that the public prosecutor’s office is obliged to assess each case according to its merits, instead of applying a blanket guideline to all criminal charges.
“By instructing the prosecution to amend an indictment to remove an improvement already rejected by the Court, the Special Guidelines are illegally attempting to remove the judiciary’s legally mandated role in determining whether improvements should be rejected,” according to the judiciary promote, “said the letter.