Posted BY: Kara | NwoReport

DA George Gascon failed to follow the law and as a result, two police officers died. That’s the argument being leveled by the families of two El Monte police officers who were killed last June by a gang member who was on the street thanks to a plea deal made by Gascon’s office.

Officers Michael Paredes and Joseph Santana were responding to a report of domestic violence at Siesta Inn in June when Justin Flores — a documented member of the Quiet Village gang with multiple prior convictions — shot them in the head.

In a civil suit filed Wednesday, Santana’s family alleged Flores should have been incarcerated on the day he killed the officers, but he was put in their path because of a combination of poor supervision by the Probation Department and a plea deal that was struck in 2021 as part of Gascón’s broad sentencing reforms…

At the time of the shootings, Flores was on probation as part of a plea deal struck in 2021 after he’d been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and methamphetamine. With a prior burglary conviction, Flores could have faced several years in prison under California’s “three strikes” law.

But the prosecutor assigned to the case said he couldn’t seek the enhanced sentence because of one of many sweeping policy changes Gascón made on his first day in office, according to a document reviewed by The Times.

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An LA judge ruled in February 2021 that Gascon was required to follow the three-strikes law. Gascon appealed that decision and it’s now going before the California Supreme Court. Reason published part of an amicus brief submitted in the case last week:

District Attorney Gascón believes that the Three Strikes Law (Pen. Code, § 667, subd. (b)-(i)) mandates unfair sentences. That is his right. But his disagreement with the policy of a statute does not allow him, as an executive officer, to refuse to execute its terms. Gascón may choose not to bring the charges that trigger the Three Strikes Law, or he may choose to bring misdemeanors rather than felonies. But if he pleads and proves felony charges against defendants who fall under the Three Strikes Law, he must also seek the punishments required by statute. The process set out by the California Constitution for Gascón to pursue his policy disagreement with the Legislature is by persuading its members to amend the law, not to refuse to execute the law unilaterally.

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