Lancaster murders: LASD detective says new DA's policies could shorten suspect's sentence

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon has been on the receiving end of criticism by some family members of crime victims and former prosecutors after he unveiled sweeping criminal justice reforms last week.

Among his critics include a L.A. County sheriff's detective assigned to the case of two young children allegedly murdered by their father in Lancaster earlier this month.

Detective Steven Blagg says Gascon's policies could shorten the sentence of 34-year-old Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr. Taylor is accused of decapitating his two children - ages 12 and 13 - and forcing his younger children to look at their bodies.

"To have a blanket policy with no exceptions, to me, it just makes no sense," Blagg says.

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L.A. County DA George Gascon's new policies are being criticized by former prosecutors and some family members of crime victims.



Gascon's directive effectively ends cash bail, the death penalty and sentencing enhancements in L.A. County prosecutions.

In Taylor's case, due to multiple murders, he would have been eligible for the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole, and sentencing enhancements would've included weapons allegations.

But none were included during sentencing because of Gascon's new directive.

Blagg says Taylor is now looking at 25 years to life for each case.

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Blagg says the family is reeling.

"They're scared. There's still an 8 and 9-year-old child who were victimized as well who did survive," Blagg says. "With the potential for the suspect to be getting out after 25 years or less, depending, they're constantly going to have to look over their shoulders."

Meanwhile, there's a movement within the district attorney's office to file a state bar complaint against Gascon. Roughly 800 deputy district attorneys are reportedly behind it. Deputy DA Jon Hatami spoke to Eyewitness News, saying Gascon's directive will impact horrific cases in a terrible way.

The studies listed in Gascon's directive point out that a shorter a person is sentenced, the less likely they are to re-commit a crime once released.

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