Alameda County DA Adopts Gascon-Style Policies
The newly elected District Attorney of Alameda County, which includes the high-crime city of Oakland, has announced new policies requiring the prosecutors in her office to seek the minimum sentences possible for convicted criminals, including those who use guns. For example, in the case of a gang member who fires a gun into an occupied car injuring a passenger, the prosecutor would not be allowed to include the Three Strikes enhancement for the use of a firearm, which would have increased the sentence for the shooter. Rachel Swan of the SF Chronicle reports that DA Pamela Price’s new policies are similar to those of progressive Los Angeles DA George Gascon’s, requiring deputies to seek probation for criminals who under state law are eligible for jail or prison.
According to the Chronicle “Price would create scenarios in which people accused of armed robbery or other serious gun offenses would not be sent to prison and would potentially receive the same punishment as a person accused of a robbery with no gun.”
In Price’s draft directive, prosecutors would be required to dismiss prior violent or serious crimes, eliminating Three Strikes sentence increases for repeat violent felons and would also forbid seeking the death penalty or life without parole for the county’s worst murderers. Gascon’s similar policy is currently being challenged by the Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys Association before the California Supreme Court. CJLF has filed a brief in support of that challenge.
To enforce her new policies Price has appointed a transition team of two dozen civil rights and police accountability experts, pastors and justice system reform activists. This is also similar to Gascon, who brought in activists serve as advisors and defense attorneys to take over the supervisory positions in the LADA’s office.
When progressive Chesa Boudin was elected San Francisco District Attorney, dozens of deputies in that office resigned and several moved across the bay to the Alameda County DA’s office because they could not work for a boss who refused to enforce the law against criminals as crime was skyrocketing in the city. One of those former deputies, Brooke Jenkins was elected DA on a tough-on-crime platform last year after Boudin’s recall. Now that Alameda County voters have put a soft-on-crime progressive in the DA’s office, a new exodus of deputies will likely begin as violent crime in Oakland, Hawthorne and Berkeley climb even higher.
A PAC funded by progressive billionaire George Soros called California Justice & Public Safety spent $134,745 on campaign literature and mailings to support Price’s campaign. Another Soros-funded PAC called Californians For Safety and Justice bankrolled the campaigns of Gascon and Boudin.