Progressive (read pro-criminal) Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón is labeling a superior court judge who refused to drop “special circumstance” allegations against a double-murderer, as an opponent to the interests of the people of Los Angeles County. A story by Roger Grace of the Metropolitan News Enterprise reports that Gascón has ordered all of his deputies at the Pomona Branch to file a peremptory challenge against LA Superior Court Judge Rob B. Villeza in every criminal case assigned to his court—claiming under penalty of perjury that the judge is biased against their client ie, the residents of the county. This appears to be retaliation to the judge’s refusal to abide by Gascon’s policy of dropping additional charges called enhancements provided under state law to increase the sentences of cold-blooded gang murderer.
In People v. Gonzalez, defendant, a criminal gang member, was charged by former District Attorney Jackie Lacey of shooting to death two men while they were sleeping, to steal money from one of the victims. He then used the gun to carjack a mini-van to transport and dump the bodies in the desert. Gonzalez was charged with both murders, robbery, the use of a gun during a carjacking and being a member of a criminal gang. Multiple victims and the robbery are special circumstances which can carry a sentence of life without parole or the death penalty. The gun and gang allegations can also increase the sentence.
After Gascón was elected, he issued a number of directives including one which ordered the prosecutors in his office to remove any special circumstances or allegations from cases pending before the trial courts. Judge Villeza refused to allow these to be removed in the Gonzalez case, noting that Gascón’s office offered no mitigating facts or personal circumstances of the defendant to support the dismissal motion. Gonzalez appealed the judge’s decision, with support from Gascón’s office, but the Court of Appeal refused to hear it. The article notes:
The action by Villeza in reinstating the special circumstance and gang enhancement allegations plainly evidences a lack of bias on his part against the People and demonstrates a commitment to adhering to the law. As of Friday, when the directive was issued by Michael Yglecias, head deputy in the Pomona Courthouse (East District), an assertion of a general bias on the part of the judge against the prosecution could not reasonably have been credited, nor can it be now.
Indeed, it is not Villeza who is biased against the People; it is Gascón, a champion of criminal defendants and inmates. The goal is not to bump Villeza from presiding over criminal cases because he is pro-defense, but to get rid of him because he defied a policy, one that has been judicially declared to be infirm, pronounced by a power-thirsty district attorney who lacks tolerance for opposition.
Radicals like Gascón do not abide by rules or laws that they disagree with. In fact their goal is to proclaim their own rules and force the public to comply and suffer the collateral damage they cause. The campaign to recall Gascón has gathered 400,000 signatures with two months left to collect another 167,000.