Soft on Crime, Harsh on Pronouns - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Soft on Crime, Harsh on Pronouns
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón (FOX 11 Los Angeles/YouTube)

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón suspended a deputy district attorney without pay for five days last month because prosecutor Shea Sanna was guilty of “misgendering” a sex offender. In Gascon World, the offense also can be called “dead-naming.”

Violent repeat offenders have seen more mercy from Gascón than career prosecutors who just want to do their jobs.

Sanna’s offense? He referred to repeat offender Hannah Tubbs, nee James Tubbs, as a male. Sanna told the Los Angeles Times that he referred to Hannah Tubbs as a male because he believed the repeat offender was identifying as female in a bid for leniency.

It long has been my policy to call people what they want to be called. Still, there are reasons to believe Sanna got it right.

Last year, Fox News obtained audio of Tubbs bragging to his father yes, I am using “his” here “I’m going to … plead guilty. They’re going to stick me on probation.”

According to news reports, Tubbs did not transition until after his arrest.

The story begins in 2014 when Tubbs sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl in a Denny’s restroom in Palmdale, California. Tubbs, who was two weeks shy of his 18th birthday, was not linked to the crime until years later when authorities matched his DNA to the Palmdale attack. Tubbs was lucky on one score: By the time he was booked and pleaded guilty, Gascón was Los Angeles’ district attorney.

Gascón is the rare prosecutor who faults the system for being “addicted to incarcerating people.” He ran for office pledging not to seek the death penalty and good news for Tubbs not to charge minors as adults. Previous DA Jackie Lacey, a fellow Democrat, had charged Tubbs as an adult, but Gascón moved the then-26-year-old adult repeat offender’s case to a juvenile court.

As audio released by Fox News revealed, Tubbs had told his father he expected the district attorney to do “nothing” to him. Tubbs also used language about the 10-year-old victim that exposed his lack of remorse.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, “Despite the fact that Tubbs was 26 and had amassed a criminal record that included arrests for battery and assault by the time she stood in a Los Angeles courtroom on sexual assault charges, Gascón stuck to his juvenile policy, resulting in the defendant facing a short jail sentence for the sex crime.”

Another bonus: Because the case had been moved into the juvenile system, Tubbs didn’t even have to register as a sex offender.

The blowback for Tubbs’ lenient sentence was brutal. After standing by his vaunted belief in programs not prisons, Gascón announced he was making “policy adjustments.” In the future, his office would allow for “exceptions” to his ban on charging minors as adults.

This is the hallmark of the California progressive run for office touting your sacred principles, which you can ditch if they hurt your career. Progressives will understand and forgive.

In the statement, Gascón offered, “If we knew about her disregard for the harm she caused we would have handled this case differently.” Her.

The Palmdale victim rejects the notion that her attacker is female.

“I’ve also heard that my attacker goes by she/them pronouns now,” the victim told Fox News last year. “I see it also unfair to try him as a woman as well, seeing how he clearly didn’t act like one on Jan. 1, 2014.”

How did California get here? In 2011, then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, appointed Gascón, whom he had appointed police chief, to become the city’s DA.

Politics had to be the reason. Gascón had never tried a case in court. He didn’t have trial-lawyer experience, but he had the right political positions. He was anti-death penalty and hostile to traditional law enforcement.

In 2019, saying he wanted to care for his Angeleno mother, Gascón moved to Los Angeles. He ran against Lacey and won. He’s been at war with the office’s deputy district attorneys ever since.

Sanna served his five-day suspension without pay, attorney Richard Shinee, who represents the Association of Deputy District Attorneys and Sanna, told me. Next stop: arbitration.

Why was Gascón so easy on Tubbs and ruthless with Sanna? “This is retaliation for revealing to the public” Gascón’s bad decision-making on the Tubbs case, Shinee told me.

Shinee doesn’t believe that, given his rap sheet, Tubbs had any business in a juvenile facility.

Karma intervened. Authorities transferred Tubbs out of a juvenile facility so that he could stand trial on an unrelated murder charge. Last year, Kern County charged Tubbs for the 2019 beating murder of fellow survivalist Michael Clark. Tubbs has pleaded not guilty.

“Under George Gascon’s ‘reforms,’ a 26-year-old admitted child molester is being housed with juveniles,” Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami told Fox News. “She may be released early, back into the community, with no sex registration. Only innocent victims and the public suffer because of George Gascon’s so-called ‘progress.'”

Debra J. Saunders is a fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership. Contact her at


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