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Letters to the Editor: What George Gascón is doing is nullification, not prosecutorial discretion

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón speaks after being sworn in on Dec. 7, 2020.
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón speaks after being sworn in Dec. 7, 2020.
(Bryan Chan / Los Angeles County)

To the editor: Newly elected L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón announced that his office will no longer prosecute most so-called enhancements, including those that call for additional prison time for defendants who were armed with or used a firearm during the commission of a felony. (“L.A. County voters elected George Gascón to change the criminal justice system. Let him do it,” editorial, Jan. 28.)

The problem here is that Gascón is not exercising prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis, which is proper. He is refusing to prosecute almost all enhancements, which amounts to nullification.

Only the judiciary and the Legislature can nullify a law. The 52 district attorneys in California have no authority to choose which laws they want to ignore in their respective counties.

Refusing to prosecute a particular enhancement in all cases is inconsistent with Gascón’s oath of office, which requires him to enforce the laws of the state.

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Bill Gravlin, Rancho Palos Verdes

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To the editor: Gascón is doing exactly what he promised to do if elected, and he’s doing it in the face of vociferous opposition. This is a highly encouraging, sadly rare and courageous trait in a politician.

I would vote for him again tomorrow, and I certainly will if and when he runs for reelection.

Noel Park, Rancho Palos Verdes


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