Gascon Lacks Authority to End Bail

George Gascon, newly elected Los Angeles County District Attorney is said to be determined to eradicate the laws concerning Cash Bail regardless of public opinion. However, it is not possible as per prevailing law provisions. In fact, his obsession with this dubious plan is evident from the fact that it had been part of his campaign on his website and that is still visible. He has decided to trigger the movement of the “end cash bill” quite contrary to the aspirations of the people who elected him.

The Los Angeles Times published a story flashing a headline showing therein that George Gascon has eliminated the said law. However, that is not the case because he is not entitled to do in the capacity of the district attorney. As a matter of fact, lawmaking is purely done by the state legislature. Further, to refer to any measures as regards the amendment in the law is a separate domain as provided in the constitution since inception. Moreover, the constitution also provides for the provision since 1849 whereby all persons are bailable by producing sufficient sureties.

Evidently, the prosecutor has no role in law-making as he is to deal with the enforcement of criminal laws and related constitutional provisions. Secondly, he is not a superior court judge. In California, judges have the exclusive authority to set bail.  In order to promote his “end cash bail” idea, he has emphasized deputies not to recommend bail in certain cases. But, they cannot do anything substantive as regards the bails that judges set. Moreover, they are required to do without any arguments what the judges declare as per the state constitution. Above all, all bails are set as per schedule annually by the judges. In case Gascon charges any defendant and his deputies attend the court, as per schedule the defendants are released on bail. Constitutionally, Gascon’s new policy is defective and against his own office requirements. 

Shockingly, Gaston’s attitude is inappropriate with victims. Famous Marcy’s law seeks crime victims’ constitutional rights, equal to the rights of the accused. Accordingly, the victim needs to be heard about a defendant pretrial release. But the new policy in question predetermines the appropriate bail for a defendant. On one hand, deputies

keep trying to persuade the victim not to seek bail, and the defendant could run away in fear of a non-bail situation. Consequently, sufficient securities would be unlikely. 

Gascon’s policies are based on his arbitrary decision to empower his office. Indeed, a criminal charge alone does not indicate that the same person will repeat the crime. Gascon’s indifferent attitude as regards the constitutional provisions, the pretrial risk assessment about a defendant especially movement for “end cash bail” is irrational and is not going to succeed.

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