LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón Thursday announced the start of a centralized charge evaluation system in an attempt to ensure greater consistency and fairness in filing decisions by county prosecutors.
"We're centralizing the decision-making process to ensure that the same conduct leads to similar results regardless of where a crime occurs in Los Angeles County," Gascón said in a written statement.
"Consistency in the initial case evaluation and filing is essential to achieving equal justice for all people in our county."
Centralized filing metrics will be developed and studies will be conducted to measure progress, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Criminal cases in downtown Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, Van Nuys and the Antelope Valley began being filed using the new centralized system Monday, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Case filings will be centralized by January in the Compton, Pomona, El Monte, West Covina, San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Torrance and Inglewood courthouses, followed by the Airport, Long Beach, Norwalk, Bellflower, Downey, Metropolitan, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank and Alhambra courthouses around March 1.
Roughly 680 cases are presented each day by law enforcement agencies for filing consideration, with most being reviewed and either filed or declined for criminal prosecution by deputy district attorneys who are assigned to the downtown Los Angeles courthouse and branch and area courthouses throughout the county and will continue to work in local courthouses but report to the head deputy district attorney of the Charge Evaluation Division, according to the District Attorney's Office.