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Letters to the Editor: Prosecutors who don’t like George Gascón’s reforms can quit

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón delivers remarks after being sworn in Dec. 7.
(Bryan Chan / Los Angeles County)

To the editor: The resistance shown by rank-and-file Los Angeles County prosecutors to Dist. Atty. George Gascón’s reforms is as illuminating as it is predictable.

The district attorney’s office is supposed to be the people’s law firm, but the prosecutors’ petulance highlights the office’s actual function over at least the last few decades: a state bureaucracy tasked with caging society’s marginalized members, heavily concentrated in communities of color.

The district attorney’s office does not represent crime victims, law enforcement or property owners. It represents the people. This requires prosecutors to consider all people, including defendants. It also requires a deference to the client’s electoral choices.

Gascón was transparent about what he would do if elected. If these prosecutors feel they cannot faithfully execute their duties and abide by their client’s wishes, they should resign.

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Charles Kohorst, Glendora

The writer is an attorney.

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To the editor: Implicit in the article but not really answered is the question of how much of Gascón’s reforms are consistent with the law.

No district attorney has the authority to override duly adopted legislation that was promulgated after hearings and votes by our elected officials. These cannot be overridden by a prosecutor bent on reform; that is up to the Legislature.

This bears more scrutiny and, in many instances, I would not be surprised if Gascón is trying to change legislative and case applications of the law through administrative directions. He cannot do this.

Michael H. Miller and Stephanie R. Scher, Los Angeles

The writers are both retired city attorneys who each served as president of the City Attorneys Assn. of Los Angeles County.


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