LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - On Wednesday, nearly a dozen district attorneys from around the country appeared at the Hall of Justice to back Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, who's been under fire during his first year in office.
Gascón said he wants to fix the criminal justice system.
"An eye for an eye is not the way that government should behave and I want to sure the way we do our work is provide services for everyone," Gascón said at the press conference.
The DA wanted to highlight his new approach, which includes no longer seeking the death penalty, eliminating cash bail for individuals who don't pose a danger to the public and the prosecution of bad cops.
"That's why he should be recalled," said Kathy Cady, cochair of Recall DA George Gascón a campaign that relaunched Monday with the goal of removing Gascón from office.
"Over the past year, I've represented over 90 murder victims families in court and each and everyone of them has felt completely abandoned by Gascón," she said.
Gascón said that the overall crime rate is down, but admits that homicides are up.
His critics said the DA's office has failed to file enhancement charges when it comes to crimes committed with guns, which are also up.
"What people in Los Angeles county are learning is that there's not a whole of consequences when they commit a crime and specifically for younger gang members, if you're under 18," Cady said.
However, the DA disputes that and points to the recent murder case of well-known philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, where murder charges have been filed 29-year-old Aariel Maynor, the suspect in that case.
"This young man is facing, quite frankly, probably the majority of his life or all of his life in prison," Gascón said.
The LA County DA also said that his office is prosecuting felonies at a slightly higher rate than his predecessor did in 20219, before the pandemic. However, there have been calls from LA City Hall, as well as a growing number of police chiefs to do away with no-cash bail.
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