Once again, L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has demonstrated her leadership by helping to protect the rights of her constituents.
Last week she sent a letter to ask for the denial of parole for Ruben Beltran, who is serving a sentence of 15 years to life and has been in prison since 2004. He was convicted of sexual assault of a child with the intent to commit sodomy by force or fear with children he lived with as young as 6. He is scheduled for his first parole hearing on March 6, but under the directives set out by newly elected L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón, the prosecuting attorney will not be allowed to go to the parole hearing.
This and hundreds of other sexual and violent crimes will not have a representative from the DA’s office to be at the parole hearings, to be a voice speaking out for the victims.
Barger said, “There is a growing trend that the rights of victims of some of the most violent crimes are not being protected under District Attorney George Gascón’s administration. I’m concerned about this trend that I’m seeing take place and someone has to speak up for the victims.”
Barger has also written a letter to Gascón to let it be known that she is against the nine directives he has set in place.
These directives are easily classified as pro-criminal and anti-public-safety, and include directives eliminating sentencing enhancements, no longer prosecuting juveniles as adults in special cases, preventing the deputy DA’s from appearing at parole hearings, not seeking the death penalty, elimination of cash bail, and not prosecuting crimes he does not care to prosecute — they will simply be declined or dismissed. These include trespassing, disturbing the peace, unlicensed drivers, criminal threats, drug possession, drunk in public, loitering, prostitution, resisting arrest, and more.
If it seems as if we have written several acknowledgement editorials for Barger lately, it’s because we have. Barger has demonstrated time and again that she will stand up for what is right and let her voice be heard — even if she is a lone voice on the five-member Board of Supervisors.
Thank you, Supervisor Barger, for, among other things, standing up to protect the rights and safety of law-abiding citizens victimized by crime.