Jeff Chemerinsky: The simple reality is that George Gascón has failed as District Attorney

I am running for Los Angeles County District Attorney because I care deeply about LA County and its criminal justice system, and because I can bring the experience, energy, and vision that is needed at this moment, both for the D.A.’s Office and for our County.

What does Justice mean to me? It means holding criminals accountable and making our communities safer, reforming our criminal justice system, and bringing new leadership and accountability to the D.A.’s office.

My highest priority will be to prosecute serious crimes to increase public safety. In particular, I will be dedicated to prosecuting crimes that are endangering safety: gun crimes and firearm trafficking, and smash and grab robberies. Repeat offenders must be held accountable. And my office will have zero tolerance for public corruption.

As District Attorney I will be dedicated to doing what I can to improve the quality of life for those in LA County. My office will also focus on the prosecution of crimes that have an outsized impact on working people, such as environmental crime and wage theft.

At the same time, I strongly believe that criminal justice reform is imperative. Mass incarceration does not work. It does not make us safer and it imposes great costs in resources and on people’s lives.

Why do we need a new District Attorney? The simple reality is that George Gascón has failed as District Attorney, and LA County has lost confidence in him to keep us safe and to deliver criminal justice reform.

He adopted inflexible policies that even he realized were misguided and came to repudiate.

When the state of California offered additional funding for district attorney’s offices to prosecute smash and grab robberies, Gascón didn’t even apply. Thirteen other district attorney offices did and received millions of dollars to address a major criminal problem. But LA County prosecutors received nothing because of the negligence of our District Attorney.

A crucial responsibility of the District Attorney is administering a large office.  By all accounts, Gascón has failed as an administrator. There are now hundreds of vacancies and one of my top priorities would be to fill these vacancies. More than fifteen retaliation suits have been filed against Gascón for his personnel actions. In the first retaliation case to go to trial, Gascón was found liable and the taxpayers now owe $1.5 million in damages.  Many more cases are still pending and the cost of his administration will be huge.

Why Jeff Chemerinsky? I am a very experienced prosecutor with significant managerial experience.  For the last 9 years, I was a federal prosecutor and most recently served as Chief of the Violent and Organized Crime section in the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

I have never lost a case, and personally prosecuted cases involving murder, sex trafficking, firearms trafficking, corruption, and sex assault offenses. I won convictions of more than 30 members of the MS-13 gang, including the leader of that gang in Los Angeles and the leader of the East Coast Crips.  I also led federal robbery prosecutions for the office, partnering with local law enforcement agencies to win convictions in many major organized retail theft cases.  I will use my deep experience with robbery cases to address the rising problems of retail theft and smash and grab robberies. 

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In addition to my trial record, I bring significant management experience overseeing a large team of attorneys and staff for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, which serves 19 million people living in seven Southern California counties.

As an outsider with a track record as an effective prosecutor and manager, I would bring new leadership and a fresh set of eyes to the problems in the District Attorney’s office.

Please visit to learn more about my plan to bring public safety, fairness, and justice to our communities.

I would be honored to earn your vote.

Jeff Chemerinsky is a candidate for Los Angeles County district attorney.
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