San Francisco, a city plagued with out of control costs of living, rising crime and an intractable homelessness epidemic, has itself a new District Attorney as of this month. He’s a guy with a very, um… interesting history (more on that below) and he was elected on a promise to “put fewer people behind bars” and fight the “destructive effects of mass incarceration.” His name is Chesa Boudin, and if you’re not familiar with his previous work in prosecuting criminal cases, that’s because he’s never prosecuted a case in his life. Sounds like exciting times for San Francisco, eh?
It certainly became exciting for a number of the city’s most seasoned and experienced prosecutors working in the DA’s office and it didn’t take very long for that to happen. On Boudin’s second day in office he fired a bunch of them. Those not in the office to receive their pink slips were given a “you’re fired” phone call from the new DA as a consolation prize. (Defense Mavin)
San Francisco’s new district attorney fired several senior prosecutors on Friday, just two days after he was sworn into office.
Chesa Boudin, who ran on a platform to fix the city’s “broken justice system” and put fewer people behind bars, was sworn into office as district attorney on Wednesday, according to KTVU.
“I had to make difficult staffing decisions today in order to put in place a management team that will help me accomplish the work I committed to do for San Francisco,” Boudin said in a written statement released after the terminations became public.
You may recall that Boudin was making headlines before he was even sworn in. Shortly after the election, he announced that he would be moving to decriminalize camping on the sidewalks, public defecation, peeing on the streets and other “quality of life crimes.”
Boudin fired Gang Unit Managing Attorney Ana Gonzalez, likely because he also promised to do away with “gang enhancements” when sentencing convicted gang members. He then fired the head of the Homicide Unit along with both managing attorneys in the General Felonies Unit. They were apparently locking too many people up or sending them to prison for too long.
We should also revisit Boudin’s personal history. He was the child of two members of the Weather Underground who went to prison for killing three people, including two police officers, during a heist. Having lost his parents to the criminal justice system, Boudin was then raised by none other than Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, not coincidentally also members of the same terrorist group.
Amazingly, just as San Francisco is facing rising violent crime rates and gang problems, the citizens of that city have elected a District Attorney who ran on a promise to not give criminals such a hard time in court. So as far as I’m concerned, whatever happens from here on out is their own fault and we really shouldn’t have much sympathy for them.
As an interesting side note, Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor recently took time out to loudly sing the praises of Boudin and say what a great job he would do for San Francisco. I wonder where she comes down on the whole Weather Underground thing?