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Law And Order

New Los Angeles County DA eliminates cash bail

After taking his oath of office on Monday, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón promised to enact sweeping change, saying he will end cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felony offenses and prohibit prosecutors from seeking the death penalty.

Los Angeles, he declared, is "a poster child for the failed tough-on-crime approach. The status quo hasn't made us safer." Gascón, a former San Francisco district attorney and assistant chief in the Los Angeles Police Department, defeated Jackie Lacey in the November election, running on a progressive platform.

Gascón said he is also implementing new policies to end the practices of charging juveniles as adults and using sentencing enhancements, and will reopen at least four investigations into officer-involved shootings. There are people now in jail "because they can't afford to purchase their freedom," Gascón said, and they will have the opportunity to request new court hearings to be released.

"I recognize for many this is a new path ... whether you are a protester, a police officer, or a prosecutor, I ask you to walk with me," he said. "I ask you to join me on this journey. We can break the multigenerational cycles of violence, trauma, and arrest and recidivism that has led America to incarcerate more people than any other nation."