National media coverage in February of a transgender child molester set to be released after serving as little as six months under Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón’s blanket “youth justice” policy has induced the progressive DA to admit that the policy might not be appropriate for all offenders. Marjorie Hernandez of the New York Post reports that Hanna Tubbs, was James Tubbs in 2014 when he followed a 10-year-old girl into a woman’s restroom at a Denny’s restaurant and molested her. Tubbs was two weeks shy of his 18th birthday at the time, which qualified him as a juvenile. After he was arrested six years later on an Idaho battery charge, his DNA tied him to the molestation. After his arrest Tubbs began to identify as a woman. Because of his age at the time of the crime, under Gascón’s policy, he/she could not be tried in adult court. As a result, Tubbs plead guilty in juvenile court and will likely serve six months of a two year sentence in a juvenile treatment facility for young woman.
A widely-reported taped jailhouse conversation featured Tubbs saying, “They’re going to stick me on probation, and it’s gonna be dropped, it’s gonna be done, I won’t have to register (as a sex offender), won’t have to do nothing.” Writing for the Los Angles Association of Deputy District Attorneys, Former LA prosecutor Kathleen Cady notes that, while Gascón now promises to deal differently with exceptional cases, his commitment to his should be considered suspect. Now juvenile cases will be evaluated by a hand-picked panel including former public defender Alisa Blair, who wrote Gascón’s “youth justice” policy.
It is difficult to imagine that his new panel is going to be very tough on violent juveniles, as Gascón boasts that since he took office he has resentenced 25 violent criminals and prevented the transfer of another 100 violent juvenile cases to adult court. It is important to note that, under California law, an offender convicted any crime in juvenile court, including multiple murder, must be released when they become 25 years old. This means that under Gascón, the maximum sentence for a 17-year-old gang member who kills four children during a drive-by shooting is eight years in a juvenile facility for a crime that, if he were one year older, would qualify for the death sentence or life without parole.
Cady describes some of the cases that Gascón refused to allow to be prosecuted in adult court:
On December 1, 2020, 28-year-old mother Ky Alicia Thomas was shot and killed in Venice. One of the assailants is 17.
On February 17, 2021, 32-year-old Monique Munoz was killed by the 17-year-old son of wealthy entrepreneur who was driving a Lamborghini on a suspended license at speeds up to 106 mph. He had been cited for speeding twice in 2020, including once for driving 72 miles per hour on surface streets.
On May 26, 17-year-old Kenia Rivera was shot and killed by two juvenile gang members as she was walking down the street with her twin sister.
On August 12, 2021, 26-year-old Jayren Bradford was shot and killed outside the Shoe Palace by a 16-year-old. The entire shooting was caught on tape.
On November 15, 2021, 19-year-old Cody Wilson was shot and killed by a 17-year-old in Pico Rivera.
Nobody should be fooled about Gascón’s lip service regarding changes to his policy on violent juveniles. Because he is facing a recall this year, his panel may actually allow some horrific juvenile killer to be prosecuted in adult court to provide their boss with some cover. But this is only happening because Gascón got caught in the Tubbs case. Tubbs will probably walk free in late summer, becoming just another dangerous criminal allowed to roam the streets in George Gascón’s Los Angeles.
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