Politics

Embattled Left-Wing Prosecutor Chesa Boudin Recalled In San Francisco Election

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was removed from office in a recall election Tuesday, multiple outlets are projecting.

Boudin, elected in 2019, faced widespread criticism for what opponents called a soft-on-crime approach. The successful recall campaign began in the summer of 2021, and was led by former San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee chair Mary Jung.

Boudin’s defenders alleged that the recall was a Republican campaign to oust a progressive criminal justice reformer. However, in the city in which President Joe Biden won 85% of the vote in 2020, Boudin was projected to have lost the recall election within minutes of results being reported.

Polls indicated that disapproval of Boudin was highest among the Asian-American and Hispanic communities. The recall petition coincided with an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DA was accused of failing to prosecute enough criminals committing crimes like burglary, car thefts and murder, and releasing repeat offenders from jail who went on to commit additional crimes. (RELATED: San Francisco DA Says His Father, Convicted Murderer And Former Member Of Terrorist Group, Should Get Out Of Prison)

In 2019, he ran on a platform of ending cash bail, reducing incarceration rates and not cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who were attempting to deport illegal immigrants in San Francisco.

Under Boudin’s watch, San Francisco was among the nation’s most dangerous cities. Residents had about a 1-in-16 chance of being subject to a property or violent crime in a given year, according to the Hoover Institution. In January 2020, almost immediately after taking office, he replaced cash bail with a “risk-based-system” for determining if defendants would be held pre-trial. In April 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, he reduced San Francisco’s jail population by 40%.

At the end of 2020, San Francisco Police Department data indicated there had been an increase of about 46% in burglaries over the previous year. Police Chief William Scott said the release of repeat offenders was partly to blame, while Boudin attributed the surge to economic distress caused by the pandemic.

Boudin obtained only three drug-dealing convictions in all of 2021, and defended his track record by claiming that many drug dealers in the city were illegal immigrants from Honduras who would be deported if charged with a crime.