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Editorial: The next D.A.

California's justice revolution

L.A. County's next D.A. should present well-thought-out policies for re-creating the justice system and making the reforms stick.

April 25, 2012

Alan Jackson has two answers to realignment: repeal it (which is not going to happen, and Jackson knows it) and allow counties to send prisoners out of state instead of seeking alternative treatment and supervision for those who can respond to it. Carmen Trutanich repeats the old saw that "we cannot start crying, 'The sky is falling.' " We know that, but what would he do as D.A. to make realignment work? "This is a terrible mistake," Jackie Lacey offers somewhat wearily. "But it's also an opportunity." Very well, but how will she respond to that opportunity?

Danette Meyers sees part of the solution in training prosecutors, and her approach has some promise: seek probation, so that defendants may remain on the hook until they have completed restitution to their victims. And Bobby Grace says the district attorney must take a stronger role in seeking funding for reentry programs that keep the public safe and direct the offender toward a clean life.

But we need more from the district attorney candidates. More details, more facts, more information about the level of their commitment to remaking the justice system in a way that works. Realignment should be a key issue in this campaign, along with the others outlined in The Times' "The Next D.A." series: juvenile justice, three strikes, the death penalty, and public integrity. They still have a few weeks to make their case.

VIDEO: The D.A. candidates on realignment and the death penalty

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