Friday, December 11, 2020

LA's New DA George Gascón's default policy : DA will not attend parole hearings & will support in writing the grant of parole when the minimum Eligible date has been reached.

George Gascón, A former beat cop, Assistant Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and elected District Attorney, George Gascon's 40-year career in law enforcemnts has taken him from the streets of LA to the highest ranks of Law Enforcement and the Courtroom.

In his inauguration speech, Gascón said his time as a hard-charging LAPD cop in the 1980s and '90s helped shape his transformation into an advocate for wide-ranging criminal justice reforms. Gascon announced a sweeping range of reforms when he was sworn-in Monday, including no longer seeking the death penalty and not using gang enhancements for sentencing. 

Supporters of Gascon, say he is correct to try to reduce mass incarceration in California and instead seek more rehabilitative solutions in addition to mental-health treatment for offenders.


More specifically information (below) to help the incarcerated population; it will be at their Parole Suitability Hearing...... Continue reading the excerpts below.


 LA DA recognizes that parole is an effective process to reduce recidivism, ensure public safety, and assist people in successfully rejoining society. The CDCR’s own statistics show that people paroled from life terms have a recidivism rate of less than four percent.

LA DA states: we are not experts on rehabilitation. While we have information about the crime of conviction, the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) already has this information.

Further, as the crime of conviction is of limited value in considering parole suitability years or decades later, (see In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal.4th 1181; In re Shaputis (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1241, 1255), the value of a prosecutor’s input in parole hearings is also limited. Finally, pursuant to Penal Code section 3041, there is a presumption that people shall be released on parole upon reaching the Minimum Eligible Parole Date (MEPD), their Youth Parole Eligible Date, (YEPD), or their Elderly Parole Date (EPD).

Currently, sentences are being served that are much longer than the already lengthy mandatory minimum sentences imposed. Such sentences are constitutionally excessive. (See In re Palmer (2019) 33 Cal.App.5th 1199.)

This LA’s Office’s default policy is that we will not attend parole hearings and will support in writing the grant of parole for a person who has already served their mandatory minimum period of incarceration, defined as their MEPD, YEPD or EPD.

However, if the CDCR has determined in their Comprehensive Risk Assessment (CRA) that a person represents a “HIGH” risk rating for recidivism, the DDA may, in their letter, take a neutral position on the grant of parole.


This SEA OF CHANGE is beyond our wildest hopes and dreams as Criminal Defense Attorneys. This is amazing! As a parole specialist, the fact that LA will now be supporting, instead of opposing, the majority of inmates (at parole hearings) is AMAZING.  

NOTE:  For someone who meets the specified criteria (over 15 years incarcerated, age, covid risks, etc) they can make a  direct  request for 1170(d) resentencing at the District Attorney's office. 

As a reminder:

In June 2018, the Legislature passed and Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill(AB) 1812,
which amended Penal Code § 1170(d)(1). The new law took effect immediately. 

Penal Code § 1170(d)(1) authorizes a court  to recall a sentence and resentence a person to a lesser sentence in two circumstances: (1) on the court’s own motion within 120 days after sentencing,  or (2) at any time upon a recommendation from the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) or  the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) (or, for people in county jails, are commendation from the county correctional  administrator). The  CDCR’s  current  regulations about §1170(d)(1)  sentence  recall recommendations are in the California Code of Regulations, Title 15, §§3076-3076.2.  In  the  past,  the  CDCR  rarely  used  its  authority  to recommend sentence recalls. Now, they should because AB 1812 grants additional funds to the CDCR to investigate potential cases to refer for recall of sentence.