NATHAN HOCHMAN ⚖️ ‘Justice, justice I will pursue’

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“Justice, Justice shall you pursue.”

Throughout my 34 years in the criminal justice system, as a prosecutor, defense attorney, and victims’ advocate, I have often thought about the repetition of the word “justice” in this biblical admonition. Through my experience, I have come to believe that the dual use of “justice” is a clarion call to all lawyers, and particularly to a District Attorney, to simultaneously pursue two aspects of justice – procedural justice and substantive justice – in order to achieve JUSTICE.

To achieve procedural justice, a District Attorney must ensure that the law and due process are rigorously adhered to so that the charges brought and evidence presented in court accord with the highest levels of procedural propriety. Procedural justice wears a blindfold and acts impartially based on just the facts and the law and not a personal agenda. Substantive justice goes beyond the procedural safeguards and requires a District Attorney to achieve just and fair results for the victims and the public against those who break our laws.

Our current District Attorney, George Gascon, has failed to achieve JUSTICE in both respects. On the procedural justice front, on his first day in office in December 2020, he issued nine pro-criminal blanket policies that instructed his prosecutors not to follow certain laws dealing with violent criminals, guns, and gangs, substituting his political ideology for the laws passed by the public and the state legislature. For example, he stated his deputies could no longer bring Three Strikes cases against the most dangerous criminals who were convicted of two prior violent or serious crimes and now had committed another.

The association representing those deputies hired myself and my law firm to file a lawsuit against their boss, arguing that Gascon could not violate the law to try to enforce it. We succeeded in stopping that policy in its tracks; Gascon appealed; and an appellate court ruled that Gascon is “an elected official who must comply with the law, not a sovereign with absolute, unreviewable discretion.” Procedural justice can only occur when a District Attorney is independent, making the calls over people’s liberty based solely on the facts and the law, and not his political whims. I will be such an independent District Attorney, starting with the fact that I am the only candidate who has registered as an Independent (no party preference) in this race. Unlike Gascon, if I take the oath as District Attorney, I will swear to uphold all the laws, not just the select laws that meet my personal litmus test.

As for substantive justice, Gascon has chosen to place criminals’ interests over victims, boasting of having saved violent and serious criminals over 10,000 years of prison time that the evidence and law otherwise justified. As a “defense attorney,” he has succeeded; as the District Attorney, he has grossly abdicated his duties.

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To bring substantive justice to victims, I will reject blanket policies and bring back a “hard middle” approach, conducting an individualized analysis of the defendant, the crime committed, and the impact on the victim to put those who threaten our public safety behind bars and offer those who don’t – a first-time, non-violent offender – the chance for community service or diversion to pay their debt to society.

I will reverse Gascon’s policies forbidding prosecutors to attend parole hearings with victims; reinvigorate the partnership with law enforcement rather than hire a Chief of Staff, like Gascon did with Tiffany Blacknell, who believes law enforcement officers are “barbarians” and an “occupying army;” re-establish the trust within the office with the over 900 prosecutors who voted 97.8% to support Gascon’s recall; and restore the DA Office’s credibility with the public, 60% of whom feel less safe today than when Gascon took office.

Justice, Justice will I pursue as District Attorney, not politics.

 
 
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About Nathan Hochman
Nathan Hochman is a former federal prosecutor, U.S. Assistant Attorney General, and L.A. City Ethics Commission President running for Los Angeles County District Attorney

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West
3 months ago

After four years of this back and forth, it’s time to state the facts plainly. Police accountability is good and necessary. Abolishing and demoralizing law enforcement is harmful. The goal of the globalists like Soros and his cronies is to create social decay, erode rule of law and weaken local control. All in service of introducing the prefab false solutions— surveillance, predictive policing, and yes, eventually UN blue helmet mercs. It’s called the Hegelian dialectic, and LA is falling for it.

Cy Husain
3 months ago
Reply to  West

George Gascón was a thirty-year police officer who single handedly brought accountability to the LASD & LAPD and, the high 6 figure incomes of law enforcement 🐷 & increasing budgets hardly characterize “abolishing and demoralizing.” The racist conspiracy theories about George Soros appeared early 1990s due to his opposition to the Iraq war, gained traction after he condemned the 2003 Iraq War and, continue for condemning the Genocide of Palestinians. Opposing oppressors and their enforcers is a good thing ❗ ✊🏽

Graham
Graham
3 months ago

Who are you voting for? Whoever is running against failure Gascon.

Ida Lupino
Ida Lupino
3 months ago

Count my vote…IN!

Robert Steloff
3 months ago

Great Op-Ed! A highly impressive candidate who can get Los Angeles & all neighboring communities & its people back on track for a safer better Los Angeles.

Joshua88
Joshua88
3 months ago

I wonder if he read the article where the LA County spent nearly $1,000,000,000 settling LASD lawsuits.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2024-02-07/la-county-record-settle-lawsuits

John
John
3 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

I am glad he notices the millions of dollars criminals are costing businesses and citizens…as well as the safety of communities.

Robert Steloff
3 months ago
Reply to  John

💯💯💯

Cy Husain
3 months ago
Reply to  John

The criminals who are costing us so dearly just happen to be in the LASD❗

Stevie
Stevie
3 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Hey Karen, why don’t you reread the article and stop spewing your lies and misinformation. The article clearly states it wasn’t just the Sheriff’s Department.

Robert Steloff
3 months ago
Reply to  Stevie

💯💯💯

Joshua88
Joshua88
3 months ago
Reply to  Stevie

Hey, Stevie,

You are correct, but the important part for WeHo is the SD,not the PD. They’re both corrupt.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
3 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Those lawsuits against the Sheriff’s Department arose during the time of Lee Baca’s inept leadership and the cowboy culture of Villanueva. We have a new Sheriff and hopefully and new DA who can work together to bring long needed accountability to the Sheriff’s Department. I have not decided who I am voting for DA but it won’t be Gascon.

Cy Husain
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

It was Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón a thirty-year police officer himself who single handedly brought accountability to the LASD & LAPD, that has resulted in a mendacious right-wing smear campaign against him. In spite of this, his 2024 Re-Election Campaign remains Focused on “Holding Law Enforcement Accountable” – and, Sheriff Luna is backing Him

Cy Husain
3 months ago
Reply to  Stevie

Yes it mentioned “several factors” hidden behind a pay wall but ONE stood out the worst, “a run of extremely costly settlements, many stemming from alleged misconduct within the Sheriff’s Department.”
Again, L.A. County taxpayers are having to foot the bill for the sheriff on law enforcement negligence,”
Of the top 13 settlements, 10 involved the Sheriff’s Department.”

Joshua88
Joshua88
3 months ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

Appreciate your knowledgeable responses.

Joshua88
Joshua88
3 months ago
Reply to  Stevie

Hey, Stevie,

Really, the point was he wants to “reinvigorate the partnership with law enforcement” and my point was the (both LAPD and) LASD are corrupt and anybody should be wary of LE.

I apologize for getting sidetracked in this argument.

Not Karen.

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