Culture Wars/Current Controversies

San Francisco’s Top Prosecutor Will Face a Recall Election

New York Times

Chesa Boudin, the district attorney of San Francisco, will face a recall election next year after a backlash in one of America’s most liberal cities to his policies aimed at reducing the number of people in jails and prisons.

Elections officials in San Francisco certified this week that recall supporters had gathered enough signatures to force an election in June, when Californians will vote in a statewide primary for governor and congressional seats. The district attorney contest will serve as a test of how far liberal prosecutors can go in changing the justice system at a time of rising concerns about crime.

Mr. Boudin, a former public defender whose story of growing up a son of incarcerated parents was central to his campaign two years ago, is among a number of liberal prosecutors who have recently been elected on promises of reducing incarceration and tackling racial bias within the criminal justice system.

But Mr. Boudin, like other liberal prosecutors in places such as Philadelphia and Los Angeles, has faced sharp pushback from conservative activists, as well as other residents concerned about public safety, who say that he is not taking a hard enough line on crime and that his policies have made San Francisco less safe.


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