Recent rise in robberies leave experts scrambling for answers
While experts agree that the recent rash of robberies in Los Angeles is a major problem, they are at odds at who or what to blame for it.
"I do think we have a crime problem here in Los Angeles," said Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami.
Hatami has placed the blame on his boss District Attorney George Gascón.
"Many individuals in L.A. County believe George Gascón is soft on crime and believe they're gonna get out early," he said.
While others like Will Mathers, who worked with the group that sponsored Prop 47, legislation that knocked some potential felonies to misdemeanors, points to the police. He claims that in 92% of thefts in California nothing happens.
"No one is ever arrested," he said. "No one is ever prosecuted. No one is ever convicted. That is outrageous and we should be expecting better from law enforcement."
Although he is a supporter of criminal reforms, including Prop 47, retired judge Eugene Hyman believes some progressive policies have gone too far and have created a "catch and release" culture emboldening criminals. He believes the way to stop the wave of lawlessness is to uphold the law.
"One of the problems with this stuff is it's a revolving door and that's because the message out there is it's a misdemeanor, it doesn't matter," he said. "Then it becomes a $5 million robbery [and] it matters. But I bet you when they catch these people and they examine their lives, they've been getting away with stuff for a long, long time and then it escalates."
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