Gascon’s Dystopia

By Michele Hanisee

“If somebody gets arrested, they’re not going to serve any time in jail. If they do serve time in jail, they’re not going to be prosecuted. If they do get prosecuted, they’re not going to be sentenced, and if they are sentenced, they’re out right away. It’s a broken system…[i]f there’s no consequence at all, and if people can’t be diverted into treatment, you see the results on the streets of LA.”

These comments were made by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti about the impacts of Prop 47. Other California mayors, city councils, residents, and small business owners have made similar complaints. Yet, George Gascón-who authored Prop 47-ignored and continues to ignore the consequences of Prop 47. He denies that the narrative Mayor Garcetti explained is true. But what would the Mayor of Los Angeles know about his own city that George Gascón doesn’t already know? After all, Gascón, after having absented himself from Los Angeles for over a decade, has been back long enough to buy a cup of coffee.

The results described by Mayor Garcetti were the foreseeable outcome of Gascón’s Prop 47 experiment. But it is no surprise that Gascón fails to appreciate how changes in the law affect outcomes.  He has zero courtroom experience. He has no regard for crime victims. He does not have to worry about the day-to-day consequences of dealing with quality of life or safety issues. And he has never had to face the consequences of his actions with the voters of San Francisco, because he abandoned his position and left the city.

In Gascón’s insular world, Prop 47 is part of his utopian vision of no crime, no punishment. And when his policies fail, that’s not a problem for Gascón, because he just moves to the next project or the next county. For those of us who live and love LA, running away is not an option.

Michele Hanisee is President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, the collective bargaining agent representing nearly 1,000 Deputy District Attorneys who work for the County of Los Angeles.

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