Letters to the Editor: What George Gascón is doing is nullification, not prosecutorial discretion
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.
Bill Gravlin, Rancho Palos Verdes
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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