- Associated Press - Saturday, December 19, 2020

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said he would backtrack on one of the sweeping changes he had announced when he took office earlier this month.

Gascon said on Friday that he would allow his office to seek harsher sentencing for hate crimes, child abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault, sex trafficking and some financial crimes.

Gascon had long argued that sentencing enhancements lead to inflated prison terms and target Black and Latino defendants.

Gascon said he made the change after listening to the community, victims and prosecutors, KABC-TV reported.

“He’s making changes based on the feedback he’s gotten and based on the concerns that he’s gotten, to ensure that in cases involving vulnerable victims enhancements can and may be brought” said Max Szabo, a deputy DA and spokesman for Gascon’s transition team.



Judges in particular served as a roadblock in Gascon’s original plan. Four judges across the county have blocked the district attorney’s office’s attempt to dismiss sentencing enhancements.

Gascon has made a few significant policy changes since taking office less than two weeks ago, including banning prosecutors from seeking the death penalty or trying juveniles as adults.

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