Episode 040: Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton

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On this episode, I chat with Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton who in September of 2017 was sworn in as the 25th District Attorney for the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Becton leads a prosecutorial office of approximately 200 lawyers, investigators, and staff.

District Attorney Becton served for 22 years as a judge in Contra Costa County, where she was elected as Presiding Judge.

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In this episode, get into how the District Attorney’s Office had more than 14,000 misdemeanor requests from Law Enforcement while prosecuting 4,500 of those. They also prosecuted 3,400 felonies in 2017. Becton recently announced Youth Courts, Restorative Justice and bringing the Sand Hook Promise to the County. We discuss human trafficking, illegal dumping, repeat misdemeanor offenders, domestic violence, homeless & mental illness while talking about the anti-truancy program. We close by chatting about how Senator Nancy Skinner named Becton the Woman of the Year in the 9th District.

  • 00:52 – 3400 felony prosecutions, 4,500 misdemeanors… however, more than 14,000 misdemeanor requests from law enforcement, nearly 2/3 (10,000 cases) they cannot prosecute.
  • 2:28 – Youth Courts and Restorative Justice ready to be rolled out in the County. They are also bringing the Sandy Hook Promise which already has been launched in Martinez.
  • 04:40 – District Attorney Staffing Levels is at 205.5 people, including just 101 attorneys.
  • 05:54 – Human Trafficking and how that is impacting the county.
  • 07:50 – How do you manage all these cases with 101 attorneys?
  • 08:44 – Misdemeanors who are repeat offenders, why is it so hard to keep them in jail?
  • 11:45 – At what point do misdemeanors become enough as enough?
  • 13:00 – Becton explains issues and trends of crime in the county.
  • 14:00 – Uptick in domestic violence crime in East Contra Costa County
  • 15:05 – Illegal dumping, why is it so hard to prosecute?
  • 17:25 – Homeless & mental illness, while it’s a sensitive topic, what do you look for in possibly prosecute when crimes occur with these types of cases?
  • 20:00 – Becton explains the launch of the District Attorney Community Academy
  • 23:06 – District Attorney’s Anti-Truancy Program
  • 24:25 – Transparency to the public, Fatal Incident Protocol for Officer Involved Shootings and releasing the reports to the public. Becton explains her decision.
  • 26:16 – Senator Nancy Skinner announced Diana Becton as Woman of the Year in the 9th District
  • 27:54 – What is more fun, being a judge or District Attorney?

4 COMMENTS

  1. I really am enjoying this format for interviews but I think you should have been a little tougher on the question when it came to repeat offenders. I think you gave her a pass. The District Attorney’s Office should be held more responsible for repeat offenders continuing to commit crimes. How does an office only prosecute 4,500 out of 17,000 request? That is 33%. That is failing to keep the public safe.

    I do appreciate all the programs the District Attorney’s Office is involved in and I hope over the long term it will help reduce crime.

  2. Interesting interview, but I want to know the reasons WHY they can’t prosecute more cases. I’ll have to guess lack of evidence, can’t get a conviction, case overload, etc. If you’ve been arrested, you should be prosecuted. Letting 2/3 go is ridiculous. I hope they’re not letting that many felonies go.

  3. Funny how Becton changes her tune depending on who she is talking to – she tried very hard to come off as conservative and pro-“law and order” in this conversation, but she is actually actively working to weaken laws and REFUSES to let her staff try cases appropriately. Why didn’t you ask her about releasing murderers and ignoring victim’s families? https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2019/02/15/teen-murder-defendant-gets-7-years-for-shooting-discovery-bay-woman/

Comments are closed.