‘Soft On Crime’ L.A. DA Gascón Facing 9 Challengers For His Job

‘Soft On Crime’ L.A. DA Gascón Facing 9 Challengers For His Job

October 24, 2023

The Daily Wire reports that Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is squaring off against nine challengers who want to take his job in March.

The pro-crime DA survived a recall effort last year, but his criminal justice reform policies have continued to draw fire from critics who generously accuse him of being “soft on crime.”

Gascón’s nine challengers are all prosecutors or former prosecutors, including Deputy District Attorney Maria Ramirez, who has worked in the DA’s office for 30 years and claims she was demoted for challenging Gascón’s policies on sentencing enhancements and whether juveniles could be tried as adults. She is one of about 20 prosecutors suing Gascón for retaliation or defamation.

The Daily Wire continues:

Also running is Deputy District Attorney John McKinney, who is one of Gascón’s most outspoken critics. McKinney has promised to “repeal and replace” every policy Gascón put in place on the DA’s first day back in 2020.

McKinney has also slammed Gascón’s ban on prosecutors accompanying victims to parole hearings.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami, a longtime child abuse prosecutor and Army veteran, runs an X account that consistently attacks Gascón, highlighting specific incidents of crime in the city.

Nathan Hochman, a former federal prosecutor, is also running against the DA and has compared Los Angeles to “Gotham City” with its “rampant crime.”

Deputy District Attorney Eric Siddall, who has prosecuted gang members, was previously a vice president of the union representing line prosecutors. His union managed to slow down Gascón’s criminal justice reform agenda when their 2021 lawsuit was granted an injunction.

Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell, another former prosecutor, was a deputy district attorney for 11 years in the city, and said Gascón “places criminals over victims and ideology over common sense.”

Jeff Chemerinsky, the former head of violent crimes prosecutions for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, has prosecuted high-level members of MS-13.

Superior Court Judge Debra Archuleta, another veteran Los Angeles County prosecutor, said that under her watch, “violent criminals will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

David Milton, a retired Superior Court judge and Los Angeles County prosecutor, as well as an Army veteran, has called Gascón “soft on crime” and is running to replace him.

Last year, Gascón avoided a recall by about 40,000 signatures. However, the 28% signature rejection rate was the highest on record compared to past recalls. Polling at the time suggested Gascón would likely have been recalled if the measure made the ballot.

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