LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A judge Monday ruled against Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon in his efforts to implement sweeping and controversial policy changes regarding how defendants are prosecuted and sentenced.
Back in December, the union which represents L.A. County prosecutors filed a restraining order seeking to block the changes from the newly-elected Gascon.READ MORE: Meat Loaf, Entertainer Known For 'I'd Do Anything For Love,' Countless Other Hits, Dies At 74
Just after being sworn in, Gascon announced several drastic moves, including the elimination of cash bail for misdemeanor and felony offenses, as well as the elimination of some sentencing enhancements, such as gang enhancements that he argues undermine rehabilitation, exacerbates racial inequities and unnecessarily crowd jails and prisons.
He also said that his office would no longer seek the death penalty and would take a less aggressive approach on lower-level offenders.
However, L.A. Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant Monday blocked several of these moves, ruling mostly in favor of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for L.A. County.
Chalfant said Gascon cannot order his prosecutors to ignore three-strike allegations and sentencing enhancements.READ MORE: 'I Hope Paradise Is As You Remember It;' Boy George, Cher, Stephen Fry React To Death Of Meat Loaf
He had heard arguments on Feb. 2 on the union’s motion for a preliminary injunction, then took the case under submission before granting it in large part Monday.
The union hailed the judge’s decision, saying it was based “on what the law is and not what an officeholder thinks it should be” when it comes to sentencing repeat offenders.
Attorney Robert E. Dugdale, on behalf of Gascon and the DA’s Office, said the ruling was not fully in favor of the union.
“The judge did not enjoin the DA’s policy prohibiting deputy district attorneys from filing most sentencing enhancements in new cases,” Dugdale said. “However, he enjoined application of most aspects of the remaining directives.”MORE NEWS: Juzang Scores 28 As No. 9 UCLA Holds Off Utah, 63-58
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