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A Los Angeles County deputy district attorney says that George Gascón's “blanket policy” of releasing inmates who were convicted of crimes such as murder as a juvenile is creating a “ticking time bomb,” and says his “days are still numbered” after the recall campaign suffered a major blow on Monday.
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón's office has released multiple prisoners onto the streets who were convicted of violent crimes such as murder.
Due to Proposition 57, approved by voters of California in 2016, every minor convicted in adult court must receive an additional transfer hearing in juvenile court to determine if the individual should be tried as an adult.
In many cases, however, Gascón's office chooses not to participate in transfer hearings and the inmate would be released.
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Andres Cachu was released from prison in November after a close ally to Gascón, Deputy District Attorney Alisa Blair, chose not to present evidence at a hearing intended to determine if he should stay in custody since he aged out of the juvenile detention facility when he turned 25.
Cachu was involved in a police pursuit in July, he allegedly ditched a firearm that he was allegedly in possession of, and was charged evading arrest, driving under the influence, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami told Fox News Digital that the Gascón policy is creating a “ticking time bomb” and eventually a released murderer is going to victimize someone else.
“He just doesn't really care.”
“When you release dangerous criminals who are murderers at the age of 25, when you don't present any evidence to a judge, when you don't consider if this individual was dangerous while in prison, and you just released this individual. Yeah, that that becomes a ticking time bomb. And at a certain point, that person is going to victimize somebody else. And so George Gascón should really think about that.”
Hatami says that Gascón just doesn't care about the possibility that someone will be victimized.
“He just doesn't really care. And it's sad because the job of a district attorney is to fight for the victims and their family, is to make sure that there's accountability, to make sure that there is justice, and to make sure that the public is safe so this individual doesn't get out for somebody else,” Hatami said.
The campaign to recall Gascón suffered a major setback on Monday when the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder found that there weren't enough valid signatures gathered in order to put the recall question on the ballot.
Despite the setback, Hatami said that he has a message for Gascón: “I’m not going anywhere.”
“I will always stand with abused & neglected children, victims & their families & the residents of LA County. Your days are still numbered. Just like today, I’ll be back working for the People tomorrow,” Hatami said. “I’m incredibly saddened & disappointed by today’s news. My heart breaks for the victims, their families & the entire county of LA. However, the fight for justice, public safety & doing the right thing isn’t over. It will just take a little longer. I will always be proud of all the hard work of the families & volunteers.”
Patricia Wenskunas, founder and CEO of Crime Survivors Inc., a California-based organization focused on helping victims of violent crime and their family members, told Fox News Digital that she is “extremely worried” for victims and survivors of crime after hope for a potential Gascón recall faded on Monday.
“I am extremely worried for victims, survivors and for public safety, and especially for our communities in Los Angeles County. I pray this does not embolden DA Gascon with more progressive policies and I pray he decides to realize the importance of holding criminals accountable and to provide victims with justice through our legal system,” Wenskunas said. “We must take a breath and once again find our voices for the voiceless.
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In another case, Victor Bibiano, 30, served just eight years out of a life sentence handed down after being convicted in a double murder case because Gascón's office declined to transfer the case from juvenile to adult court, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
He was taken into custody in May in relation to the killing of Mario Rodriguez, 40, who was found shot at a transient encampment in Pacoima, which is an area of Los Angeles, though Gascon said that evidence suggests Bibiano didn't shoot or kill the transient.
When Bibiano was 17, he and two other people were convicted in adult court in 2012 in relation to the killing of two gang members and wounding a third in 2009.
Initially, Bibiano was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for shooting a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, attempted murder, and a special-circumstance double murder, but he was released in 2021.
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Gascón told the Los Angeles Daily News in that instance his office didn't seek a transfer to adult court because it couldn't prove that Bibiano would not have benefited from juvenile rehabilitative services when the original crimes were committed.
“Given that Bibiano had no prior delinquency record at the time of the homicides, he had no serious infractions while in prison, and he presented other confidential mitigating information, we determined we could not meet that burden,” Gascon said. “Bibiano remained in juvenile court. We requested a Division of Juvenile Justice commitment for two additional years. That request was granted but Division of Juvenile Justice rejected Mr. Bibiano. However, as part of his release plan, Bibiano had access to support and community resources.”
In 2021, a convicted killer was caught on video celebrating in his prison cell after learning about the new Gascón directive which calls for the potential re-sentencing of inmates who are in jail for 15 years. He was seen on video toasting Gascón with “white lightning,” which is prison moonshine.
“I could say they feel as though the district attorney's office has abandoned them”
“Right here with my cellie,” Dorsett said, according to a video released by the California District Attorneys Association. “Some white lightning, a little cup, boom! Celebrating us going home on this Gascón directive. Whoop!”
Kathy Cady, a former prosecutor with the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office told Fox News Digital that Gascón is “either unconcerned or ignorant of the incredible damage and devastation that he's causing.”
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Cady also said that the impact on the victim's family when their loved one's murder is released from jail is devastating.
“I could say they feel as though the district attorney's office has abandoned them,” Cady said. “They feel very devastated and, you know, abandoned.”
Fox News' Michael Ruiz, Bill Melugin, and David Aaro contributed to this report.
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