Los Angeles District Attorney repeatedly released criminal who stabbed man to death on the street

Los Angeles District Attorney repeatedly released criminal who stabbed man to death on the street
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón (Image: YouTube screen grab)

A father in Los Angeles has been stabbed to death by a woman with a long and violent history, who was allowed to remain free by progressive district attorney George Gascon. She had a history of attacking people with knives, but always avoided prison because Gascon’s office either released her or placed her in diversion programs instead.

Jade Simone Brookfield was charged with attempted murder in 2020 for stabbing a woman in the chest and puncturing her lung. Gascon’s office then reduced her charges to assault with a deadly weapon, and put her into a mental health diversion program instead of prosecuting her. She absconded and was removed from the program, yet was allowed to return to it. In 2021, Brookfield was arrested twice more. First, she was arrested for committing battery against a cop. She received mental health diversion for that, too, and the prosecution against her was dismissed. Then, she was arrested for criminal threats after she allegedly assaulted a man, pulled out two knives, and threatened to kill him. Gascon’s office refused to prosecute the case.

This March, while still on diversion for her first knife attack, she was arrested once again for felony assault with a deadly weapon after she repeatedly tried to knife a bus driver who missed her stop. Gascon’s office permitted her to be released from custody with an ankle monitor.

Last month, she was arrested for murder, after she fatally stabbed Dennis Banner after arguing with him on the street. This is yet another example of what happens due to Gascon’s soft-on-crime practice of using diversion whenever it is arguably permitted by law.

Earlier, Gascon allowed the release of a gang murder who then murdered two police officers.

Gascon refuses to try people who committed crimes at age 16 or 17 in adult court, even when they commit aggravated murders. So teenage serial killers will not be held beyond age 25, no matter how many people they kill. Short sentences for juveniles result in higher crime rates and higher recidivism rates. As Peter Moskos notes, “Recidivism among 16-year-olds went up” when the age for being prosecuted in adult court was raised. The recidivism rate for 16-year-olds rose from 39% to 48% for offenses generally, and from 18% to 27% for violent felony offenses.

And Gascón refuses to seek sentence enhancements mandated by California law. For example, Gascón ordered prosecutors in Los Angeles County not to seek the sentencing enhancements approved by California voters in Proposition 8. That ballot initiative increased penalties for repeat offenders who commit willful homicide, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault with a firearm. Prosecutors responded by bringing a lawsuit challenging Gascón’s order banning sentence enhancements. Gascon also refused to seek penalty enhancements mandated by California’s three-strikes law. An appeals court temporarily stopped him from doing that, but the California Supreme Court granted Gascon’s petition for review, keeping that decision from become binding precedent.

Longer sentences are needed to deter crime, and keep crime rates down. Crime in California fell significantly after California voters adopted Proposition 8, which mandated longer sentences for repeat offenders. A National Bureau of Economic Research study found those longer sentences deterred many crimes from being committed. As it observed, three years after Proposition 8 was adopted, crimes punished with enhanced sentences had “fallen roughly 20-40 percent compared to” crimes not covered by enhanced sentences. Sentencing enhancements prevented crime by dissuading people outside of prison from committing crimes, not just by keeping convicted criminals in prison where it’s harder to commit a crime.

Gascón also will not let prosecutors in his office seek the death penalty under any circumstances.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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