LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The county’s lead prosecutor announced sweeping changes Monday for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, including the elimination of cash bail for misdemeanor and some felony offenses.
Newly sworn-in George Gascon announced Monday that county prosecutors will no longer seek cash bail for any misdemeanor or non-violent, non-serious felony offenses.READ MORE: Suspect Brandishing Gun During Standoff Shot, Killed By Deputies Near Lancaster
Attorneys who have clients behind bars awaiting trial on any of the affected offenses can immediately schedule a hearing to revisit bail and his office won’t contest their release.
Gascon, 66, also told reporters he is taking the death penalty “off the table” and will seek to re-sentence inmates on death row to life in prison.
The former San Francisco prosecutor also declared he won’t file any gang enhancements in criminal complaints, saying they undermine rehabilitation, exacerbate racial inequities and unnecessarily crowd jails and prisons.
He also pledged to immediately end the practice of charging minors as adults, and will make victims’ services available to families of those shot and killed by law enforcement officers.
The District Attorney’s office will also not require victims of crime to testify against perpetrators in order to gain access to victims’ services.READ MORE: Federal Court Strikes Down Judge’s Order To Provide Housing To All Skid Row Homeless
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian-West, who recently has advocated for criminal justice reform, voiced her support for Gascon Monday, saying the actions “are the change we’ve been waiting for.”
Los Angeles County is the largest jail system in the country, and its home to the largest jurisdiction in the state. These changes out of the DA’s office are the change we’ve been waiting for, and I hope they have a ripple effect across the country.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) December 7, 2020
Gascon, a retired Los Angeles police officer, has served as both police chief and district attorney for San Francisco.MORE NEWS: Smokey Southland Skies Caused By Wildfires Burning In Northern And Central California Spur Air Quality Concerns
As that city’s lead prosecutor, Gascon authored a ballot measure to reduce some felonies to misdemeanors, including some thefts, which led San Francisco to have the nation’s highest property crime rate per capita in the U.S., according to the Associated Press.