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Sentencing Enhancements: L.A. District Attorney Gascon to Allow Longer Sentences for Certain Crimes

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Sentencing Enhancements: L.A. District Attorney Gascon to Allow Longer Sentences for Certain Crimes

December 22, 2020
Sentencing Enhancements: L.A. District Attorney Gascon to Allow Longer Sentences for Certain Crimes

On December 7, 2020, a special directive was released by Los Angeles District Attorney, George Gascon, regarding sentencing enhancements and allegations. Initially, Gascon stated that sentencing enhancement, or the extension of a prisoner’s time behind bars, does not work and that the initial sentencing timeframe is sufficient enough. He claimed that every additional sentence increases a prisoner’s recidivism rate by 4 to 7 percent. Not to mention, sentencing enhancement can cost the public additional, avoidable financial costs.

However, 11 days later, after receiving criticism for his special directive, decided that sentencing enhancement can be, in fact, useful and will be allowed for certain crimes.

The Most Vulnerable Will Be Positively Impacted

After Gascon came out 11 days after Special Directive 20-08 reversing his initial decision, victims can now rejoice. His newer policies could mean that the most vulnerable, whether previous victims of a crime or not, could be safer as Gascon reevaluated his ban on sentencing enhancement in certain circumstances.

According to his new decision, those who have committed a crime such as sex trafficking, a hate crime, elder abuse, or child abuse may have the opportunity to spend an extended period of time in prison, away from the general public. Still, however, sentencing enhancement will still be disallowed for many crimes that take place in Los Angeles County going forward.

How Sentencing Enhancement Can Be Burdensome to Those Wrongly Accused

Gascon’s new policies were designed to keep the most dangerous criminals behind bars for longer while allowing less dangerous criminals to get released at their initial release date as a goal to 1) protect the most vulnerable and to 2) lower the recidivism rate as well as to 3) keep public costs down where necessary.

The downside to this, however, is that those wrongfully accused of crimes such as child abuse, if convicted, will not only have to be prosecuted but may have to spend an extended period of time behind bars. This means that now more than ever that those falsely accused should seek a criminal defense attorney if they were accused of committing a crime that could potentially involve sentencing enhancement in Los Angeles County. The longer an innocent person’s possible sentence, the harder they should fight for justice in court.

If you’re experiencing a violent crime allegation, get in touch with Ms. Lisa Mattern, a long-time criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. Call her at 310-342-8254.

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