LA DA Gascon ‘abandons’ victims by cutting parole unit


Progressive Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon has been accused of further ‘abandoning’ victims’ rights by disbanding a unit that warns them of their abusers’ parole hearings.

Gascon’s office confirmed to Fox News that it is phasing out the parole unit, also known as the “lifer’s unit,” by the end of the year.

The office said its lawyers were “needed in online operations to pursue cases because we are significantly understaffed” – and even claimed that notifying victims can be “triggerable” for them, according to the Fox report.

“While a victim has the right to be informed, they also have the right NOT to be contacted,” Gascon’s office told Fox in a statement.

“Parole Unit attorneys used victim services representatives, paralegals and Bureau of Investigation resources to contact victims and their loved ones who did not request to be notified of parole hearings. .”

Progressive Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon is already facing recall efforts to have him ousted.
PA

However, many of his claims have been dismissed by assistant prosecutors in his office, including some in the soon to be phased out unit.

“Gascon continually promotes “services” as if protecting [victims] ‘rights.’ He’s not,” said Assistant District Attorney Julianne Walker, who described herself as a “DDA in the soon to be disbanded lifer’s unit”.

“He gives up [victims’] constitutional rights and thinks a band-aid from some type of service like counseling will make up for its refusal to protect their rights.

THE DA Gascon is accused of "abandonment" victims by disbanding the unit to alert them to parole hearings.
LA DA Gascon is accused of ‘abandoning’ victims by disbanding the unit alerting them to parole hearings.
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Walker said the vast majority “of cases handled by the unit ‘are victims of gun violence'”, insisting that “it’s very rare for people to tell us they don’t want to know”.

“Victims…traumatized and their families” usually assume “there would never be a parole hearing and that the offender would die in prison.

“But changes to the law, without victims, families and really the general public, allowed early parole dates,” she wrote.

“The Gascon administration does not have an approach that takes trauma into account…
how is it possible to deny victims and their families the current information and legal expertise of a DDA during the hearing and in the preparation of their statements” to challenge parole, she asked .

Another LA County assistant district attorney, John Lewin, claimed the move was not only to ensure that “next of kin are not aware of these parole hearings, but he wants to make sure that prosecutors and district attorney’s offices don’t hear about it. That is.”

“When this happens, it means that [Gascon] and his public defender buddies can, in essence, do what they do in the dark, and no one will ever know,” Lewin told Fox.

Gascon has faced an escalation back from his reforms which critics say prioritize the rights of criminals over victims, with a petition signed by 717,000 people in an attempt to have him recalled.

Protesters demanding the recall of Gascon hold signs pleading to put "victims before the killers."
Protesters demanding Gascon’s recall hold signs pleading to put “victims before killers”.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Images



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