Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, whom many believe is too lenient on crime in his district, faces a possible recall this election year. Last week, the Los Angeles Times published an editorial in protest titled, “Anti-Gascon drive extends era of destructive, distracting recall mania.” When addressing the consequences of progressive policies on Americans, the legacy media’s leftist distortion is evident in nearly every line.
The piece begins with the assertion that voters’ desire to remove Gascon has no rational basis. It is instead motivated by “anxiety over disease, lockdowns, political turmoil, violence and societal disruption.” Gascon is the victim of emotionally unstable voters who have “poured their fears” onto him, the editors argue, and this hysteria has been streamlined into a movement by “opportunists of various political stripes but most notably from the far right.”
That doesn’t exactly fit the description of recall leader Desiree Andrade, a registered Democrat motivated by the killing of her 20-year-old son, Julian.
Police arrested five men in 2018 who had stabbed Julian, beat him, and thrown him off a cliff. Before Gascon took office, “special circumstances” charges of kidnapping and torture would have boosted the attackers’ sentences to life without parole if they were convicted. Gascon removed them, reducing their maximum sentence to 25 years in prison. Disgusted and wounded, Andrade became the co-chair of the recall effort.
In January, the Times spoke to Andrade about the “horrific details” of her son’s death. The paper noted that “she supports criminal justice reforms for low-level crimes, but she thinks Gascon has been soft on those who commit brutal violence.” The editors then had the gall to indirectly suggest that she belongs to a movement of cynical “opportunists” with no meaningful cause.
The recent emphasis on criminal reform in leftist politics involves radical attorneys seeking to dismantle “oppressive” systems at the local level, which they accomplish by lowering prosecution and rates of incarceration for various crimes, even violent or heinous offenses. This effectively nullifies the law and releases criminals back onto the streets in the name of “equity” and other ideological nonsense.
After a successful campaign for Los Angeles district attorney, thanks in large part to funding from progressive billionaire George Soros, Gascon took office in December 2020 to begin his criminal reform agenda. On his first day in office, he ended most uses of cash bail and eliminated the use of capital punishment in his district. He later shrank L.A.’s “Hardcore Gangs Unit” and illegally refused to uphold California’s “three strikes” law for repeat offenders. Among the most controversial of his directives was a total ban on sentencing enhancements, which he says are “racist.”
Overall, Gascon’s tenure has been marked by a spike in violent crime across the county, along with sharp criticism from lawyers and law enforcement in the staunchly liberal district. At least 35 cities have voted “no confidence” in Gascon, and voters have petitioned with more than 700,000 signatures for a recall. If only 566,857 are verified as legitimate, the option to recall him will be on the ballot in November.
Andrade sent a scathing response to the Times editorial, saying it “gaslights the public” and that the recall is about “Gascon’s pro-criminal policies, and nothing else.” As to the claim of “far-right” influence, Andrade pointed out that many behind the petition were initially supporters of Gascon.
Indeed, one L.A. mother who voted for the DA now supports the recall due to his handling of a hit-and-run case in which she was involved. In August 2021, an intoxicated 16-year-old driver, out on probation as a felon, plowed into her while she walked her baby in a stroller, knocking her and the stroller over with his car. Multiple videos show the driver veering directly into them, and she later said they made eye contact as she pleaded for him to stop. After the impact, he attempted to flee the scene but was stopped by a truck driver.
The DA’s office charged the minor with a felony count of leaving the scene of an accident that caused injury without exchanging information and two counts of felony assault, to which he pleaded guilty. Gascon stated, however, that there was “no evidence” of deliberate intent that would support attempted murder or manslaughter charges, and none of his prosecutors were allowed to bring them forward. The teen’s final punishment was a mere five-month sentence in a “juvenile probation camp” that would “rehabilitate” him.
“I voted for [Gascon] because I believe that our prisons do need some reform,” the outraged mother told Fox News, adding that his level of leniency toward criminals “is very far from any kind of reformation that anybody would think is appropriate.”
Such views are exactly what the condescending editors of the Los Angeles Times overlook, along with basic concerns for the safety and dignity of law-abiding citizens. They lament that because of the recall effort, Californians might waste time “arguing yet again over reforms they have endorsed again and again,” accusing their readers of being shortsighted.
In reality, nearly every aspect of the movement against Gascon shows that voters who expected moderate reforms feel betrayed. Instead, they got a radical whose policies have made such a mockery of law and order that convicted murderers have praised him by name from their jail cells as they await early release.
We will see soon enough if his deadly social experiment is allowed to continue.