ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price addressed controversies around several issues constituents have leveled at her office since she was sworn in back in January in an exclusive interview with KRON4’s Haaziq Madyun. Price addressed the 2021 murder of toddler Jasper Wu, and her handling of special enhancements, among other things.
Activists and former employees have shared concerns that violent criminals may be let off the hook under her leadership. Price has already been compared to former San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who was recalled for being “soft on crime.”
“I don’t know how anyone could say I’ve been too lenient I’ve only been here 75 days,” Price said.
“Justice for Jasper Wu”
Wu was killed during a highway shooting in Oakland between rival gang members just shy of his second birthday. His family is concerned that Price is not doing enough to prosecute the three men suspected of his murder: Trevor Green, Ivory Bivins and Johnny Jackson.
The perceived lack of transparency from Price’s office regarding this case is one of the reasons activists are upset with her leadership.
Price denied reports that she is not seeking prison time for the men suspected of killing Jasper.
“The people who we believe committed this murder are charged with very serious crimes, and we intend to prosecute them,” Price said.
Other cases draw controversy
Price drew controversy when she offered a plea deal of 15 years in prison to Delonzo Logwood–an alleged triple murderer–in exchange for pleading guilty to only one of the murders. Logwood has already served 14 years in jail awaiting trial. Price said the original 75 years to life sentence was not a realistic sentence.
“The judges of this county rarely impose the highest sentence possible,” Price said.
She added that plea deals are made on a regular basis and do not determine whether the county is safer or not. Price said the “epidemic of gun violence” Alameda County is experiencing right now is not driven or deterred by the punishments the District Attorney’s Office doles out, but instead by how much or little investment is made in the community.
“If putting people away for 75 years made our county more safe, then we’d be the safest county and the safest country in the world,” Price said.
The plea deal for Logwood was ultimately denied by Judge Mark McCannon. Price accused McCannon of being biased based on the way he handled Logwood’s hearing in March and should therefore be disqualified from the Logwood case as well as any other case to come out of Price’s office moving forward.
Logwood’s defense attorney claimed McCannon did not allow him to adequately speak at the hearing after McCannon had cut him off.
McCannon has refused to step down from the case and a trial date for Logwood is scheduled for April 17.
“If people don’t agree with that then yes, they are free to leave.”
Price directed her office to pursue alternatives to prison time and to not add special enhancements when charging defendants.
Price decided to throw out special enhancements lodged against David Misch, accused of murdering Michaela Garecht, who was 9 years old when she disappeared in 1988.
Price declined to comment on the case as it is ongoing but gave insight into how her office is handling enhancements.
She said enhancements have been identified as major drivers in mass incarceration and racial disparities. This change has prompted several prosecutors have left the office under Price’s leadership.
“Imagine if you were a new manager coming into a retail store and you found that people were giving refunds to everyone. And you said, ‘wait, let’s have a policy on who gets a refund and before you give a refund, let’s have you check with your supervisor.’ That’s all we’re doing,” Price said. “And if people don’t agree with that then yes, they are free to leave.”