In San Francisco yesterday, voters recalled their elected district attorney. Chesa Boudin was elected to office in 2019. For many of us outside San Francisco his tenure as prosecutor was marked distinctly by dramatic property crimes and a sense that he was presiding over the legal machinery in a city where crime might just pay after all.
It’s not hard, after watching video after video of smash-and-grab robberies and organized groups of shoplifters walking away with thousands of dollars’ worth of products, to understand why city residents might have lost confidence.
Boudin is one of a number of prosecutors who came into office over the last few years by tickling every sweet spot for leftist criminal justice reformers. He promised to reduce crime by cutting the jail population, doing away with cash bail, reforming police procedures, and opting not to prosecute various “low level” violations. I guess that’s the sort of campaign promise that is well received in some circles.
What this successful recall tells me, is that people say they want to promote feel-good, soft shoe criminal justice policies. They might even be convinced that’s what they want. It seems, though, what voters really want is to feel secure in their homes, have their property protected from the criminal element, and be able to walk the streets without being accosted or wading through rivers of human excrement.
It doesn’t honestly feel like too much to ask from our elected leaders, but then again, I don’t really know how they do things in San Francisco.