May 2019
Volume 4, Issue 5
Dear Friends:
I invite you to read and share the office’s new Biennial Report.

From its pages, I hope you will learn more about the important work of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Click here to view the report.
Murder Resentencing Unit
District Attorney Jackie Lacey established the Murder Resentencing Unit to evaluate potentially thousands of new claims from people seeking to reduce their murder convictions.

The claims are being filed in response to a new state law that bars prosecutors from charging accomplices who were present at the time of the crime but may not have anticipated its deadly outcome and did not play a direct role in the murder.

Senate Bill 1437 applied the new law retroactively, allowing anyone convicted of first- or second-degree murder under the state’s old felony murder law to petition for resentencing.

The office has received more than 1,100 resentencing petitions since the new law took effect on Jan. 1. An estimated 8,500 people in prison convicted of murder in Los Angeles County and 1,500 people on parole are eligible to file petitions.

“As prosecutors, we must follow the law, even when it changes drastically, and make determinations based on office policy and public safety considerations,” said Deputy-in-Charge Brock Lunsford, whose Murder Resentencing Unit began work on March 1.

Staff from the new unit must review and respond to requests for resentencing — many of them involving murder convictions from the 1970s and 1980s.

Lunsford and four paralegals assess incoming petitions for eligibility. If a case is eligible, the unit’s six deputy district attorneys review old case files and appellate opinions to determine whether to concede or oppose a petition.

The unit’s staff also must contact victims’ families to notify them of the petition and explain the new law.

“The change in the law has understandably been difficult for some families of homicide victims to process,” Lunsford said.

To date, the court has granted two resentencing petitions in Los Angeles County.
Fraud Alert
  Significant Cases
Clicking on a pop-up window warning about computer virus threats could have the opposite effect for those who aren’t careful.

Read the Fraud Alert and watch the video here .
  • A man allegedly involved in a domestic dispute was charged with firing a semiautomatic weapon at Hawthorne police officers. Read more about the incident. 

  • Three Antelope Valley convenience store operators were among 17 people charged in a food stamp scam. Learn how they allegedly defrauded the government out of an estimated $6 million.

  • A man pleaded guilty in connection with a deadly 2016 street race near downtown Los Angeles. Find out how much time he will serve in state prison for killing three people.
Volunteer s of the Year
Two volunteers were recognized by District Attorney Jackie Lacey on April 3 for their drive and professionalism.

Richard Chou, pictured right, and Teja Kim were named the office’s Volunteers of the Year. Chou donated many hours in the Van Nuys Branch Office and Kim assisted the office’s professional responsibility advisor.

Hundreds of volunteers help the office and save taxpayers millions of dollars every year.

Chou, a graduate of Southwestern Law School, was commended for his extraordinary energy as he assisted deputy district attorneys in Van Nuys, an office that has faced unique challenges since a water pipe burst in January 2018, forcing attorneys and staff out of their usual workspace.

Chou was nominated by Deputy District Attorney Ranna Jahanshahi, who said he helped her assess jury candidates for trials, transcribed dozens of recorded calls by jail inmates and footage from police body cameras, tracked evidence and helped schedule witnesses.

He worked in the office from March through December last year.

Kim, a University of California, Los Angeles graduate, also is interested in working as a deputy district attorney. She sought a student volunteer position with the office to learn firsthand what the work involves.

Since September, Kim has conducted legal research for Professional Responsibility Advisor Cynthia Nakao and helped create and fine-tune presentations on ethics for prosecutors, law clerks and victim services representatives.
In Case You Missed It
Watch this video in English and Spanish to learn how the office works.
Vea este video en español para aprender cómo funciona la fiscalía.
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
Clockwise, from top left: District Attorney Jackie Lacey fields questions from 70 children about her life and career as a prosecutor during the office’s annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day program; Deputy District Attorney Scott Dominguez takes a question from the audience; Deputy District Attorney Marc Beaart explains how cell phone towers work using a ball of yarn; and children perform a skit about the criminal justice system.
Did You Know...?
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s father is former District Attorney Gil Garcetti. A career prosecutor, Gil Garcetti was elected in 1992 and established the High-Tech Crimes Unit and other specialized units dedicated to prosecuting family violence, hate crimes and public assistance fraud. He served as the District Attorney through 2000.
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | (213) 974-3512 |

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