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LA District Lawyer’s race is a well timed take a look at of judicial reform – Westport Information

Updated Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 10:12 a.m. EST

FILE – Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey speaks during a press conference in Los Angeles in this January 6, 2020 file photo. Fierce competition to determine who will head the largest prosecutor’s office in the United States will show how willing Los Angeles Counties are to reform the criminal justice system after months of protests against police brutality. District Attorney Jackie Lacey, the first woman and black person to hold office, is seeking a third term on Tuesday against former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, who was a longtime police officer. In a race full of contradictions, it is Gascon, a Cuban immigrant, who is running for a progressive reformer, while Lacey is seen more as a traditional candidate for law and order. less FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2020 photo, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey speaks during a press conference in Los Angeles. The fierce competition to decide who will head the largest public prosecutor in … more

Photo: Damian Dovarganes, AP

Photo: Damian Dovarganes, AP

FILE – Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey speaks during a press conference in Los Angeles in this January 6, 2020 file photo. Fierce competition to determine who will head the largest prosecutor’s office in the United States will show how willing Los Angeles Counties are to reform the criminal justice system after months of protests against police brutality. District Attorney Jackie Lacey, the first woman and black person to hold office, is seeking a third term on Tuesday against former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, who was a longtime police officer. In a race full of contradictions, it is Gascon, a Cuban immigrant, who is running for a progressive reformer, while Lacey is seen more as a traditional candidate for law and order. less FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2020 photo, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey speaks during a press conference in Los Angeles. The fierce competition to decide who will head the largest public prosecutor in … more

Photo: Damian Dovarganes, AP

The LA District Attorney’s race is a timely test of judicial reform

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Fierce competition over who will head the largest prosecutor’s office in the United States will show how willing Los Angeles Counties are to reform the criminal justice system after months of protests focusing on police brutality and racial inequality focus.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey, the first woman and black person to hold office, is seeking a third term on Tuesday against former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, who was a longtime police officer.

In a race full of contradictions, it is Gascon, a Cuban immigrant, who is running for a progressive reformer, while Lacey is seen more as a traditional candidate for law and order.

Gascon’s former brothers in the police unions contributed millions of dollars to defeat him while Black Lives Matter protesters called for the overthrow of Lacey.

The impartial race between the two Democrats is a rematch from March, when Lacey fell just short of the majority needed in a three-way race to avoid a runoff. Gascon made headway by getting the second most votes between the two challengers on reform platforms.

The campaign gained greater attention after George Floyd’s death by Minneapolis police led to massive nationwide protests against police wrongdoing and racial injustice. Lacey was losing some of her supporters at the time, and Black Lives Matter protesters attracted hundreds of additional supporters during weekly demonstrations they held outside her office for failing to prosecute officers in fatal shootings.

Lacey has said that Gascon has no courtroom experience and that if he wins, crime will increase. She has claimed that she has carried out sensible reforms, including a conviction review unit and the diversion of mentally ill suspects from prison. Gascon has said that these efforts have been unsuccessful and have clogged prisons with people who are due to undergo mental treatment.

Gascon, who co-authored an election campaign in 2014 to reduce some non-violent crimes to misdemeanors, has promised further reforms to keep low-ranking offenders, drug users and the mentally ill out of prison and has stated he will not seek death penalty.

More than $ 14 million in donations went into the race, mostly to super PACs with no contribution restrictions. Gascon is a slight leader in fundraising and is largely backed by wealthy supporters of judicial reform. Most of the money for Lacey comes from law enforcement groups across the state.

The winner will oversee an office of nearly 1,000 lawyers who prosecute crimes in the country’s second largest city and a county of 10 million people.

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For full AP election coverage, please visit APNews.com/Election2020.

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