June 6, 2022

Chesa Boudin

San Francisco’s progressive district attorney [Chesa Boudin], elected on a platform of reducing incarceration, faces a recall election driven by a pandemic in which brutal attacks against Asian seniors and viral footage of smash-and-grab robberies tested residents’ famously liberal political bent.” AP News

Many on both sides are critical of Boudin’s treatment of crime victims:

“In a recent local Chamber of Commerce poll, an overwhelming majority of city residents said they thought that crime rates had gone up. ‘The results were consistent across gender, age, ethnicity, party affiliation, and neighborhood, and homeownership status,’ the business group noted. Separate polls by The San Francisco Standard and the Bay Area Council found much of the same… Whether it is real or not, the crime wave is coming for Boudin. San Franciscans do not feel safe and secure…

“[Fellow progressive prosecutor Brooke Jenkins argues] that Boudin simply isn’t good at the job. Half the lawyers working for him have quit, retired, or been fired. She personally decided to quit after he declined to hear her out on not accepting the insanity plea of a defendant who had murdered his mother. ‘He never requested to meet with me via Zoom or any other mechanism,’ she said. ‘He never requested to see the file to review.’… Boudin has also shown himself to be less than adept at the political role he’s taken on as D.A. He’s arguing with his own constituents about their lived experience. He’s sniping at the mayor and feuding with the police force. I can’t remember interviewing a politician who seemed less politic.”

Annie Lowrey, The Atlantic

“There were 42 people working in victim’s services when Boudin took office. Since then 20 of them have left. Dr. Gena Castro Rodriguez, who led the office, quit last year. Boudin’s office has hired replacements, some of [whom] quit after a few weeks. His spokesman has an explanation for that, claiming people are leaving lots of jobs because of the pandemic. But there’s another explanation that makes more sense. The office is now full of former public defenders who see the people they are prosecuting as victims and aren’t really interested in the actual victims…

“Jason Young, a former supporter of Boudin whose 6-year-old son was shot by a 17-year-old in 2020 became angry that Boudin wouldn’t charge the shooter as an adult. Young collected 3,000 signatures for the proposition that the shooter should be charged as an adult and Mayor London Breed arranged a meeting between him and DA Boudin. At the meeting, Boudin was fiddling with a pen and just kept [repeating] that he couldn’t bring their son back… The child’s mother, who was also present told the Chronicle, “It didn’t look like he was paying attention to anything we were saying. His mind was already made up.’”

John Sexton, Hot Air

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