Soros-funded DA goes to Supreme Court to avoid charging criminals with serious offenses

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon has filed an appeal with the California Supreme Court after a lower court ruled this week that he must charge certain criminals under the state’s “three-strikes” law as required, according to Fox News.

Gascon, one of a wave of progressive criminal justice reformers who received significant campaign funds from left-wing billionaire activist George Soros, filed the appeal Tuesday after a court found he “overstates his authority” when he refuses to charge criminals under the statute.

In so-called three-strike cases, which involve serious repeat offenders, prison sentences are significantly higher.

Gascon has shied away from charging criminals with the three-strike enhancement, but the Second Appellate District Court ruled he was violating the law.

Both the California Legislature and the state’s voters, the court ruled, “created a duty, enforceable in mandamus” which requires prosecutors to introduce prior serious or violent felony convictions into cases.

“The district attorney overstates his authority,” the Second Appellate District ruling reads. “He is an elected official who must comply with the law, not a sovereign with absolute, unreviewable discretion.”

Gascon, speaking Thursday, said the appellate court was setting a “dangerous precedent.”

The ruling, he said, amounted to “taking the charging decision out of a prosecutor’s hands.”

“The three-strikes law imposes draconian penalties on defendants who were previously convicted of certain prior felonies,” he said.

The three-strikes law, he claimed, did nothing but “increase recidivism rates, have little-to-no deterrent effect and keep people in prison long after they pose any safety risk to their community.”

Jon Hatami, a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles County, said Gascon had issued an order forbidding DAs from using the three-strikes law — and other state laws regarding repeat offenders — to prosecute individuals to the fullest extent possible.

“George Gascon dictated a blanket policy on December 7, 2020, whereby strike priors for forbidden to be filed on any case,” Hatami said.

“He has also ordered all prosecutors to remove strike priors on any existing cases. That meant child murderers, serial rapists, child molesters, sex traffickers, and police killers who were career criminals.”

The order was so strict, Hatami said, that they were forbidden to ask for exceptions or look at old evidence.

“We had to remove any strike priors from existing cases and not allege them on new cases,” Hatami said.

“Two courts have said that order was illegal and unethical. George will now spend taxpayer money to fight those decisions to the California Supreme Court because of his political ideology and beliefs, instead of doing what’s right, just and fair, which is following the law, the evidence and the facts.”

Gascon is on thin ice with voters when it comes to soft-on-crime policies like this.

The DA is under fire for one of his policies to lower prison sentences — namely, to keep individuals who committed crimes as juveniles out of adult prisons.

One of those individuals was Hannah Tubbs, a 26-year-old transgender individual who was convicted of sexually assaulting a girl in a Denny’s bathroom in a case dating from 2014.

In 2019, DNA evidence linked Tubbs — then known as James Edwards Tubbs, who identified as male — to the attack. They would negotiate a lenient plea deal which involved only a short stay in a juvenile detention facility.

The case caused widespread fury when tapes of Tubbs gloating about the short sentence were leaked. While Gascon claimed his office would have acted differently had they known about the tapes prior to sentencing, the outrage fueled a recall effort against the district attorney.

While recall organizers have collected enough signatures to put Gascon’s fate on the ballot, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder still needs to conduct a full check of the validity of the signatures before it becomes official.

If Gascon is recalled, he would become the second Soros-funded DA to be removed via the process in 2022. San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was also removed from office after residents tired of increasing crime rates and little-to-no action on quality-of-life offenses like shoplifting, drug-dealing and vagrancy.