Columns Op/Eds

November 23, 2018

Prop. 47 is necessary to put war on drugs behind us

San Francisco ChronicleI am a proud co-author of Proposition 47, the 2014 criminal justice reform initiative that was supported by 80 percent of San Francisco's voters. Read More

May 7, 2018

Now immigrants are being harassed on the witness stand in California courtrooms

The Sacramento BeePublic safety and the fair administration of justice require that everyone feels safe reporting crimes and testifying in court. Read More

April 17, 2018

State must make cash bail system just and protect public safety

San Francisco ChronicleCalifornia's money bail system is broken, unjust and unsafe. Reform is long overdue. Read More

July 20, 2017

George Gascon: San Francisco DA says communities must rethink parole and probation

San Francisco Chronicle- In the past 10 years, unlikely allies have united to advocate for an end to America’s addiction to incarceration. Read More

October 26, 2015

California's Prop. 47 revolution: Give reform a chance to work

Los Angeles Times- More than 40 years ago, President Nixon first used the term "war on drugs" to illustrate his commitment to reducing the illegal drug trade. A decade later, President Reagan declared that illicit drugs were a threat to U.S. national security and American values. Read More

May 13, 2014

George Gascon: San Francisco DA says end the death penalty

San Jose Mercury News- According to a new peer-reviewed study published in the National Academy of Sciences, one in 25 people sentenced to death in the United States from 1973 to 2004 was erroneously convicted. Frighteningly, researchers concluded that "most innocent defendants who have been sentenced to death have not been exonerated." Read More

April 23, 2013

A'kill switch' to deter smartphone theft: It's the right call

Los Angeles Times- Do you own a smartphone? If so, you are a target for opportunistic thieves. Robberies and thefts involving smartphones are now the most common property crimes in America. Read More

September 10, 2013

Feds' immigration-hold policy misguided

San Francisco Chronicle -  Immigration holds are requests by an ICE officer to have local authorities hold someone up to 48 hours after local charges are resolved. It requires no demonstration of probable cause, and such holds are often issued with little more than a suspicion that the individual in question doesn't have documents. In no other aspect of law enforcement can we jail people without probable cause; the right to due process is the bedrock of the U.S. criminal justice system. Read More

September 26, 2013

More prison beds won’t make Californians safer

Merced Sun-Star - In my three decades in law enforcement, I have watched as needlessly harsh penalties have overcrowded our prisons, bankrupted our state, and fed a costly and unnecessary cycle of crime. Read More

June 19, 2013

Why cops should back immigration reform

CNN - Members of the law enforcement community must sound their voices in support of comprehensive immigration reform for the sake of public safety and for the sake of our country. Read More

March 19, 2013

The Courage to Change: How Prosecutors Can Lead on Public Safety

Huffington Post - Sentencing reform is one of the most important ways we can reduce recidivism and keep our communities safe, and we can use two innovative strategies--sentencing commissions and alternative sentencing practices--to achieve our goals. Read More

August 28, 2012

Prop. 36 reforms 'three strikes'

San Francisco Chronicle - The enormous influx of life sentences has clogged our prison system, cost the state millions of dollars and removed people from society for relatively minor transgressions. These sentences are unfair, disproportionate, and do not keep us safer. Read More

October 18, 2011

Addressing truancy is a high-stakes game for San Francisco

Transitioning from middle school to high school can be a difficult time in a young person’s life. Last year, Jessica was an eighth-grader at an academic middle school in San Francisco. Challenged by family instability and little adult supervision, she missed almost half of her eighth-grade year. Read More

January 5, 2010

No Felon Should Have Body Armor

A California appeals court on Dec. 17 struck down ourstate's ban on violent felons possessing body armor. The court said thatlaw was too confusing for the average violent felon to follow.Specifically, defendant Ethan Saleem, on parole for manslaughter andwearing a 10-pound bulletproof vest, couldn't be expected to knowwhether his particular brand of body armor was illegal or not. Read More