Progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin faces recall vote Tuesday

Boudin has been criticized for being too soft on crime and failing to prosecute criminals who are arrested.

Updated: June 7, 2022 - 8:23am

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Progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, criticized for being too soft on crime and failing to pursue criminals aggressively, is facing a recall vote Tuesday.

Boudin campaigned for the job several years ago on a platform of reducing incarceration in the progressive city. Supporters of the recall argue Boudin – the son of two Weather Underground members convicted of murder – is putting residents at risk with his policies.

While overall reported crime has not increased since Boudin took office in 2020, viral videos of smash-and-grab robberies everywhere from drugstores to clothing boutiques have highlighted that such offenses as robberies and car thefts have risen. In many cases, the perpetrators are neither arrested nor charged.

Under the Boudin's policies, prosecutors are barred from seeking cash bail, trying juveniles as adults and pursuing longer prison sentences for criminals with gang-related backgrounds.

Still, his office's annual report in 2021 indicates that 62% of arrests made that year in San Francisco yielded charges – up from 45% in Boudin's first year on the job.

According to a recent poll from the San Francisco Examiner, 56% of likely voters say they are in favor of recalling Boudin. A separate poll conducted by Telegraph/TSG Research showed a 47%-47% split.

If Boudin is ousted Tuesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who like Boudin is a Democrat, will appointing a replacement until Boudin's term expires in November 2023.

Last week, Boudin told the Associated Press he believes a degree of frustration among the public is being taken out on him directly and is not necessarily a reflection of his job performance, but rather of the Trump administration's negative impact on the country.

"Part of it is a tremendous amount of understandable frustration and anxiety that people have felt in the context of COVID, uncertainty about the direction our country’s headed, anger at the Trump administration and misinformation that administration fueled on everything from public safety to vaccines," he said.