Campaign for District Attorney
As the race for LA County District Attorney begins, Deputy District Attorney John Mckinney is putting his bid in to replace his former boss George Gascón. Mckinney has an extensive history as a lawyer in crime force and has been linked to several high-profile cases.
Mckinney began his law career in 1998 with the Passaic, NJ District Attorney’s office. “I had no concrete understanding of the difference between a criminal defense attorney and a prosecutor, but I soon realized that being in the District Attorney (DA) role suits me better,” he said in explaining the requirements of a prosecutor. Since then, he has received numerous accolades and promotions, including being the third Black person ever to be a part of the Los Angeles DA’s “Elite 11” crime division.
“I got to the major crime division, which is the highest level in the DA, by not losing a criminal case since 2004, and I only lost one felony case in my career,” Mckinney said as he talked about what it took to achieve this goal. “I have built a strong relationship with other prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and the community. I have always gotten the job done, and it was recognized once I was prompted.”
Mckinney was the lead prosecutor on the Nipsey Hussle case in the murder of American rapper and businessman Nipsey Hussle who was murdered in 2019 by Eric Holder Jr. who was convicted of first-degree murder in July 2022 and given a sentence recommended by McKinney of 60 years to life. Now, after a series of courtroom victories, Mckinney has set his sights on the Los Angeles District Attorney position, which is currently occupied by George Gascon.
Mckinney championed the idea of “proportional justice” once he learned of Gascon’s policies in creating an educational website to address the new Gascon directives and to educate people on what criminal justice should be and will be under him if elected.
“Proportional justice is a commitment to being fair and reasonable in how we administer criminal justice, and it starts with treating every case as an individual case and not a category.” Mckinney said. “We want to be fair, reasonable, and balanced in how we address people and their crimes.”
Mckinney considered the DA run after sharply criticizing Gascon in 2020. “When I saw his policies, I knew immediately they were going to lead to greater crime and more chaos in the streets,” he said, “and I also knew it wasn’t going to help our most precious resource, our youth, especially in the Black community. We are losing respect in our local office, and I want to restore that respect. I want to restore our values in our office and want to administer our laws in a fair and just way for public safety.”
“As DA, I want to bring forth a mentorship program for our youth by partnering with the probation offices and have esteemed Black and Hispanics leaders talk and mentor the youth so they won’t engage in anti-social behavior,” Mckinney said.