The race for L.A. District Attorney has been quiet lately. So here's something to shake it up a bit.
Marcus Musante, a 33-year-old prosecutor, is announcing his campaign for the top job. His top campaign promise: No more prosecutions for drug possession.
You heard right. Any drug. No charges. Musante, who's been a deputy D.A. for six years, says he's been around long enough to see that the status quo isn't working.
“You have to stop the flow of people into custody,” he says. “Anyone who's a D.A. knows the system is flawed.”
Musante's beliefs come from firsthand experience.
“I've had to do 10 possession for dope trials,” he says, “each time knowing that when the guy gets convicted, he's going to prison for a long time… That mentality has now caught up to us.”
Musante said he would also not pursue the death penalty, and would avoid most prior “strike” offenses, which result in lengthy prison terms.
“We have to let go of retribution,” he says. “We have to tell the difference between a criminal and a bad guy. A guy may have a prior strike from 20 years ago. That strike, even if it's just knucklehead stuff, it just buries him.”
So what are Musante's chances? Somewhere in the vicinity of slim and none. Right now, he's focused on trying to get into a candidates' forum next week.
“I'm bringing the hot sauce to the party, and they won't let me in the room,” Musante says. “I could put (D.A. Steve) Cooley on blast!”