San Francisco, California District Attorney Chesa Boudin faces long odds in his upcoming recall election that could have a broader impact on his fellow progressives nationwide, Politico reports.
"There's no question that if the recall in San Francisco will be successful, it will be the playbook going forward nationally for those who want to roll back criminal justice reform," Anne Irwin, founder and director of Smart Justice California, which is supporting Boudin.
Politico notes that the recall campaign against Boudin is better funded than the campaign defending him, and that recent polls signal a poor showing for the city's top prosecutor.
Boudin's opponents claim that the former deputy public defender is undermining public safety and giving priority to defendants by using more pretrial diversions.
Former San Francisco prosecutor Brooke Jenkins said that "Chesa has a belief that your approach should be defendant-centered. Everything should revolve around what's best for the defendants. He's never let go of his role as the public defender."
She added, "If Chesa Boudin remains in office and San Francisco continues to decline and he touts this nationally as reform, I think then everywhere else pushes back," Jenkins said. "Everywhere else that's less liberal, less diverse, that's entrenched in doing it the old way, is going to say, Hell no, we don't want to hear about reform. Look at San Francisco."
However, Boudin's supporters claim that this view is misinformed and that his office's focus on diversion programs for lower-level crimes allows more resources to be spent on more serious crimes like rape and homicide.
Boudin himself said, "I think diversion programs have been shown by massive amounts of data to reduce recidivism. And if we're not committed to reducing future crime, then we're in the wrong line of work."
He also said that he wanted to "focus our limited courtroom resources, especially during the pandemic, on serious and violent crimes, which is exactly what we've done."
Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.
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