Gascón Lawyers Up

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón has retained Neal K. Katyal, the former acting U.S. solicitor general who represented Al Gore in the 2000 election dispute, but not to assist in the prosecution of violent crime now surging across the city. The Soros-backed D.A. has retained Katyal, reportedly one of the most expensive lawyers in the nation, to fight his own prosecutors. 

They want Gascón to uphold California’s “three-strikes law” and other measures that punish repeat offenders. Gascón refuses, and he recently stepped up his efforts against victims of violent crime.

Gascón is “disbanding a group of victim advocates and prosecutors in the D.A.’s office who notify victims and their family members about their assailant’s parole hearings.” Embattled colleagues quickly pushed back.

“What Gascón wants to do,” says deputy D.A. John Lewin, “is make it so 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.” This was not the D.A.’s first offense against victims. Shortly after taking office in 2020, Gascón banned prosecutors from attending parole hearings.

His recent restriction recalls the victims of one of the worst crimes in California and national history. On August 9, 1969, members of Charles Manson’s “family” invaded a Cielo Drive home and murdered five people including actress Sharon Tate, due to give birth in two weeks.

“Please don’t kill me. I just want to have my baby,” Tate said. Manson’s followers then stabbed the actress 16 times. The next night, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca met the same fate. Devastated by the death of her daughter, Doris Tate learned that Manson disciple Leslie Van Houten, had gathered 900 signatures in support of her parole.  

Tate gathered 350,000 signatures against it. When Manson follower Charles “Tex” Watson came up for parole in 1984, Doris showed up at the parole hearing. 

“What mercy, sir, did you show my daughter when she was begging for her life?” the murder victim’s mother asked Charles Watson during his 1984 parole hearing. “Will the seven victims and possibly more walk out of their graves if you get parole?” As Theresa Vargas of the Washington Post explained, “it was the first victim impact statement in California.”

Impact statements were made possible by California’s Victim’s Rights bill, passed in 1982 with help from Tate. Such statements, written or spoken, are often victims’ only opportunity to interact with the criminal justice system and confront the criminals who have harmed them. Some victims say the statements help them to recover from the crime.

Tate founded the Coalition on Victim’s Equal Rights and worked in that cause for the rest of her life. Before her death in 1992, President George H. W. Bush honored Doris Tate as one of his “thousand points of light.” Down in Los Angeles, where Sharon Tate was murdered, George Gascón does just the opposite. 

Under the Gascón regime, Doris Tate would be kept in the dark about parole hearings, and prosecutors would be barred from attending. Crime victims would be denied their only chance to have their say. Such victims have a right to wonder what could account for such a reversal.  

Like San Francisco’s now-recalled district attorney, Chesa Boudin, Gascón is pro-criminal, not merely “soft on crime.” In the progressive vision, criminals are the victims of unjust and oppressive American society and their crimes are attempts at reparations. Witness Gascón’s backing of Proposition 47, ludicrously titled “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” which essentially legalized the theft of goods up to nearly $1,000.  

As district attorney, Gascón has directed prosecutors to decline pressing charges for trespassing, criminal threats, drug possession, resisting arrest, and more. Gascón’s “Restorative Enhanced Diversion For Youth Pathway,” is essentially a tap on the wrist. A juvenile who stole a car and crashed into a mother pushing a baby carriage got a stint in what amounts to summer camp. 

In the past year, homicides in Los Angeles are up more than 25 percent from 2020. The 397 homicides during Gascón’s first full year in office are a 14-year high. Under Gascón, as of April, robberies are up 18.5 percent, car thefts up 40 percent, shootings up by 69 percent and overall violent crime up by 7.2 percent. 

As crime surges on all fronts, the George Soros-backed district attorney prefers to fight his own prosecutors. Nathan Hochman, representing the deputy district attorneys, told reporters, “I’m disgusted that he [Gascón] would waste so much of our money fighting tooth-and-nail against putting dangerous criminals in jail.”

The Soros D.A. movement is reportedly colonizing smaller cities, but the dynamic is already operating on a wider front. As in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” the rats are comrades. In the progressive war on America, criminals are the proxy forces of choice and pro-criminal DAs are the commanding generals.  

As embattled residents of Los Angeles might note, Gascón’s latest anti-victim action came after the submission of enough signatures to get a recall on the November ballot. The pro-criminal, anti-victim D.A. openly defies the people, and that raises another issue. With programs such as “motor voter,” which automatically registers illegals to vote when they get a driver’s license, California is a national leader in voter fraud.  

In her 2010 run for attorney general, former San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, a protégé of Willie Brown, was so lightly regarded that the reliably pro-Democrat Sacramento Bee endorsed Republican Steve Cooley. He was far ahead on election night, but three weeks later, ballot harvesting put Harris over the line by less than a percentage point.  

Mail-in  ballots expand the possibilities of fraud, but the voters of San Francisco were able to boot Chesa Boudin by a 60-40 margin. His successor, Brooke Jenkins, promptly fired 16 Boudin loyalists. So there may be hope for Los Angeles, where George Gascón is turning back the clock to pre-Manson times. Doris Tate would surely approve the recall effort, one point of light in a dark and dangerous time. 

A full 715,833 signatures have been submitted to Los Angeles County officials. A recall requires 566,857 valid signatures and a full review is supposed to be completed by August 17. 

About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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