La Crescenta resident Greg Martin is a Los Angeles County assistant district attorney by day and an accomplished actor with Actors Guild in Hollywood weekends. Recently, Martin was the guest speaker at the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada telling about his work as a county prosecutor of cases of sexually violent predators to an audience of over 50 Kiwanians.
Cases Martin prosecutes in Los Angeles courts are based on a sexually violent predators law passed by the California legislature in 1996, which targets a small but dangerous population of sexual predators who are predisposed to this type of crime. The law covers two jurisdictions: prosecution of offenders and treatment of the affliction that causes the predators to commit these crimes.
Under Jessica’s Law, predators who are held under civil law in state hospitals must prove they are cured before being released – something some have complained is like holding them in double jeopardy. Martin said that there are 6,000 referrals to his office each year, but only 2% make it to his desk. Martin’s work at the DA’s office deals with the “worst of the worst” offenders where about one half to two thirds are tried and convicted and committed to state institutions.
Martin said that he has always had a prosecutor’s mind-set, noting his great respect for defense attorneys and saying that both prosecutors and defense attorneys have one thing in common: “They want to do what is right.”
Contributed by Al RESTIVO