George Gascón Screws Victims Yet Again
George Gascón Screws Victims Yet Again
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón has no regard for victims of crime in his county. That’s because he’s disbanding a group of prosecutors and advocates who inform victims and their families as to when their assailant’s parole hearing is coming up.
This unit, nicknamed the “Lifer Unit,” will be history by year’s end. But this move hasn’t come without precedent, since Gascón has already banned prosecutors from attending parole hearings.
It’s like the DA doesn’t want victims to have any input as to whether their attacker walks free, doesn’t it?
Oh, perish the thought! says Gascón’s office. The DA’s office is actually looking out for the victims.
In a statement to Fox News reporter Bill Melugin, Gascón’s office explained it this way:
“After consulting with victim experts, we do not believe this is a trauma-informed approach. Contacting victims and their next of kin can be very triggering, especially if they do not welcome the intrusion.”
I think that what would be triggering for a mother of a murdered child would be losing the opportunity to tell a parole board why the sociopathic monster should remain in prison. But that’s just me.
Besides, Gascón’s office added in the statement to Melugin, the Parole Unit had been downsized, anyway:
“The Parole Unit (aka Lifer Unit) was initially downsized under the previous administration. There were 15 lawyers, and that unit was cut down to just 3 lawyers. These things all happened before DA Gascón took office.”
Yeah, well Los Angeles wasn’t such a hellhole before George Gascón became DA, either.
So what happens now? Gascón is turning the job over to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. And people still have access to the Victim Service Representatives, too.
Needless to say, not every Los Angeleno is onboard with Gascón’s cost-saving measure. Or should I say, “trigger-saving” measure?
LA Deputy District Attorney John Lewin attributes ulterior motives to Gascón’s move:
“What Gascón wants to do is he wants to make it so that not only the next of kin are unaware of these parole hearings, but he wants to make sure that prosecutors and district attorney’s offices don’t hear about them either. When that happens, that means that (Gascón) and his public defender cronies can, in essence, do what they’re doing in the dark, and no one will ever know.”
Julianne Walker, a Deputy DA, is an attorney with the “Lifer Unit.” After the news about Gascón’s plans to dismantle the unit, she reached out to Bill Melugin in a message. Walker pushed back against the DA office’s narrative, and gave Melugin permission to publish her message, which you can find here. It reads, in part:
“The Lifer Unit was not downsized to only 3 lawyers under DDA Lacey. The contract employees, retirees with vast experience in the parole arena, were not rehired. (They were) let go due to County wide budget shortfalls due to COVID …
“The Gascón administration does not have a trauma informed approach. Just look at this response and how insensitive it is to the victims and their families, the (sic) fast majority of which are victims of gun violence, to use the word “triggering.”
As for the Victim Services Representatives: they mean well, but …
“Victim Services Representatives are not lawyers and do not understand the legalities of the parole hearing …”
“Gascón continually puts forth “services” as if he is protecting their “rights.” He is not. He is abandoning their constitutional rights and thinks a band aid of some type of service like counseling will make up for his refusal to protect their rights.”
George Gascón might be willing to throw crime victims under the bus, but do you know what he thinks is more important?
Unsealing the court transcripts from the Roman Polanski case dating back to the 1970’s.
As you’ll recall, in 1978 Polanski fled the country before he was to be sentenced for raping a 13-year-old girl. On Wednesday, a three-judge appellate panel ordered the transcript of the case to be released.
And George Gascón’s reaction? He said:
“We are pleased the appellate court agreed with both the victim and our office about the need for transparency. The court’s decision helped us move toward upholding our responsibility to tell the public the truth, and to listen to survivors.”
This is jaw-dropping. Gascón cares more about a rape victim in a famous trial from over 40 years ago than he does about about the victims of crime in his county. Then again, Roman Polanski isn’t a “person of color,” is he?
But, “transparency?” “Listen to survivors?” Are you freaking kidding me? Where does the family of a 13-year-old rape victim in LA get their justice when her attacker goes up for parole, huh, George? Or does her victim status count only if her rapist is a famous white guy?
Meanwhile, fresh efforts to recall George Gascón picked up steam. In February, 2021, crime victims and law enforcement officials launched a campaign to remove him from office, claiming that he cared more about criminals than their victims. By May, the gathering of signatures for a recall were approved, and last week the recall movement submitted over 700,000 signatures to the LA County Registrar.
The recall movement excitedly reported on July 6 at Twitter:
“Today we submitted to the LA County Registrar 717,000 signatures to recall DA George Gascon — 150,000 more than required to force an election. The Registrar has 30 days to “verify” that we’ve crossed the 566,857 signature threshold. Thank you LA!”
Well done, Angelenos. Now, it’s up to you to vote to have the tone-deaf, criminal-loving bastard thrown from office.