LA DA GEORGE GASCON CONTINUES TO MAKE WAVES WITH PAROLE CHANGES
Since being sworn in as Los Angeles County District Attorney in December 2020, George Gascon has hardly been out of the headlines. From eliminating sentence enhancements for hate crimes and dismissing gang enhancements to removing firearm allegations and continuing to push for resentencing and sentence commutation; Gascon has shown himself to maintain a progressive approach focused on rehabilitation. His latest changes to the DA’s office have been highly controversial.
Gascon has announced that prosecutors will not be present at parole board hearings to oppose prisoners’ release. Instead, LA’s new DA is creating a new policy to have prosecutors support the granting of parole and early release in writing. This is working off an assumption that prisoners have been rehabilitated and deserve clemency. If a prisoner is high-risk, the policy will mean prosecutors retain neutral on – instead of opposing – the granting of parole. This leaves the decision up to the parole board based on the prisoner’s record and arguments for release.
Gascon’s position that “people evolve” and are deserving of a fair chance at release is consistent with his message of supporting rehabilitation and release. Of course there has been major backlash for this change in department policy. Victims, victims’ families, and advocates believe that this decision leaves the door open for dangerous individuals to be released. Supporters of the new change believe the prosecutors did their part in convicting the individuals and they now deserve a fair chance at being granted parole without objection from an outside party.
What Does This Mean If I Am Or A Loved One Is In Prison?
Gascon’s changes to the approach to California parole are the biggest in decades. Never before has a DA made such major progress toward improving incarceration figures and inmate release. Gascon reminds the public that the original sentence carried the opportunity for parole, which means granting prisoners this fair chance is well within the original sentence. This move by Gascon is the latest in a complete shift in the DA’s office approach to fairness, rehabilitation, and progress in prosecution.
Having your defense attorney review your case and prepare for your parole board hearing is critical. Your attorney will work tirelessly at properly seizing the opening for release before you and covering everything the parole board will want to review. This will result in you being as well prepared as possible to obtain relief and the possibility of parole being granted.
What Do I Do Now?
If you or a relative or friend is currently in custody; you must seek professional counsel about parole options. It is never too early. It is critical you consult with an experienced and qualified Criminal Defense Lawyer. Our California team has years of experience arguing cases successfully before parole boards and seeing prisoners through to release. Remember, you cannot leave your release up to chance. You must be prepared, file worked up, and with your defense team you have the best opportunity. Contact us now for a Free Consultation.