Some gruesome crimes from 40 years ago reveal deep rifts in approach to law and order in Southern California.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón have been at odds over Kenneth Rasmuson's punishment. Rasmuson was convicted of raping and killing two 6-year-old boys during the 1980s.

What You Need To Know

  • The district attorneys of Los Angeles and Orange counties disagreed on how to handle the punishment for a convicted murderer and rapist

  • Orange County DA Todd Spitzer has advocated for special circumstances in the case of Kenneth Rasmuson

  • L.A. County District DA George Gascón is embracing reforms to criminal justice, such as getting rid of sentence enhancements

  • Rasmuson is expected to be sentenced later this month to life in prison without the possibility of parole

Gascón has vowed against pursuing sentencing enhancements and the death penalty. That's one of the reasons Spitzer has wanted to wrest the case away from L.A. County, despite his support for part of Gascón's progressive approach.

"I just think Mr. Gascón is picking the wrong models for his reforms," Spitzer told Inside the Issues.

Orange County filed special circumstances murder charges against Rasmuson to make sure he could not be granted parole.

Rasmuson later pleaded no contest as part of a deal with the L.A. County DA's Office. He is expected to be sentenced this month to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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