Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp is not backing down in her war of words with California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The pair traded barbs this week following the tragic death of Selma Police Officer Gonzalo Carrasco Jr., 24, in the line of duty, and Smittcamp issued her latest response Wednesday night after the governor took aim at her during a press conference earlier in the day.
The backstory: Following Carrasco’s death at the hands of gang member and convicted felon Nathaniel Dixon, Smittcamp issued a statement saying Newsom and state legislators who have passed various laws that result in the early release of prisoners have “the blood of this officer on their hands.”
- Smittcamp focused her criticism on the accelerated time credits that criminals such as Dixon are able to receive. In Dixon’s case, he was released from prison six months after a 2022 sentencing despite having a five-year sentence.
- Newsom fired back at a pre-planned press conference to promote further gun control, saying Smittcamp “should be ashamed of herself.”
The latest from Smittcamp: In her latest statement issued Wednesday night, Smittcamp said Newsom continues to demonstrate his ignorance and lack of understanding of how the criminal justice system works, and she accused him of trying to deflect responsibility for his failed policies.
- “He is the biggest proponent of the early release of criminals, and enhanced time credits for inmates and regulations allowing additional accelerated time credits to be arbitrarily granted to inmates when they are sentenced to prison,” Smittcamp said.
- The DA invited Newsom to her office to discuss his policies, saying that if he listened to “real prosecutors, instead of supporting imposter DAs,” he might learn the true ramifications of his policies.
- Smittcamp also expressed her support for Assembly Bill 15, which would make the records pertaining to an inmate’s release date and their early release credits public record, saying it is time to “shine a bright light” on the credits and early release laws so people can see how Newsom and some legislators “are endangering the safety of all Californians.”
- “The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office is committed to pursuing justice and improving public safety for the people of the County of Fresno,” Smittcamp said. “Despite our best efforts, police and prosecutors can only do that if we have state laws and policies that are centered around accountability and responsibility for criminals. We need reform to promote public safety. Our state deserves better, and we must continue to demand that those with the authority to implement change do so with public safety as their highest priority.”