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LA County DA Gascon To Eliminate Cash Bail, Will Re-Sentence Death Penalty Inmates

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- The county's lead prosecutor announced sweeping changes Monday for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, including the elimination of cash bail for misdemeanor and some felony offenses.

Newly sworn-in George Gascon announced Monday that county prosecutors will no longer seek cash bail for any misdemeanor or non-violent, non-serious felony offenses.

San Francisco And Los Angeles District Attorneys Make Announcement Regarding Uber And Lyft Rideshare Companies
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 09: San Francisco district attorney George Gascon speaks during a new conference to announce a civil consumer protection action against rideshare company Uber on December 9, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Gascon, along with Los Angeles district attorney Jackie Lacey, announced the filing of a civil consumer protection action against Uber Technologies Inc. for making false and misleading statements to consumers and for engaging in business practices that violate California State law. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Attorneys who have clients behind bars awaiting trial on any of the affected offenses can immediately schedule a hearing to revisit bail and his office won't contest their release.

Gascon, 66, also told reporters he is taking the death penalty "off the table" and will seek to re-sentence inmates on death row to life in prison.

The former San Francisco prosecutor also declared he won't file any gang enhancements in criminal complaints, saying they undermine rehabilitation, exacerbate racial inequities and unnecessarily crowd jails and prisons.

He also pledged to immediately end the practice of charging minors as adults, and will make victims' services available to families of those shot and killed by law enforcement officers.

The District Attorney's office will also not require victims of crime to testify against perpetrators in order to gain access to victims' services.

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian-West, who recently has advocated for criminal justice reform, voiced her support for Gascon Monday, saying the actions "are the change we've been waiting for."

Gascon, a retired Los Angeles police officer, has served as both police chief and district attorney for San Francisco.

As that city's lead prosecutor, Gascon authored a ballot measure to reduce some felonies to misdemeanors, including some thefts, which led San Francisco to have the nation's highest property crime rate per capita in the U.S., according to the Associated Press.

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