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In Loss For Progressive Prosecutors, S.F. Voters Oust Chesa Boudin

San Francisco residents voted overwhelmingly to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin, one of the nation's most progressive prosecutors, reports CBS News.

Early results from the San Francisco Department of Elections showed the recall measure - Proposition H - had the support of nearly 60 percent of.voters.

Boudin sought various criminal justice reforms, ending the use of cash bail, stopping the prosecution of minors as adults, and focused on lowering jail populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was the first San Francisco DA to file homicide charges against city police officers.

Boudin said on election night that he is just getting started in the push for criminal justice reform.

"We have two cities. We have two systems of justice. We have one for the wealthy and the well-connected and a different one for everybody else. And that's exactly what we are fighting to change," he said.

"We know that this is a system that has systematically failed us, not just for decades, but for generations."

San Francisco Mayor Landon Breed will choose Boudin's replacement.

To stay in office, whoever must run in the general election to fill the remainder of Boudin's term, through the end of next year.

Advocates of ousting Boudin, a former public defender, argued he was not prosecuting criminals aggressively and that his progressive policies were putting the safety of residents at risk.

They spent over $7 million delivering that message to voters.

"This election does not mean that San Francisco has drifted to the far right on our approach to criminal justice," said Mary Jung, a chair of the recall campaign. "In fact, San Francisco has been a national beacon for progressive criminal justice reform for decades and will continue to do so with new leadership."

Momentum to recall Boudin gained as hate crimes against Asian Americans increased dramatically and victims blamed Boudin, saying he was siding with criminals.

Recall supporters also pointed to car break-ins and viral smash-and-grab robberies at major retail stores, claiming they were becoming common occurrences as a result of Boudin's policies.

Boudin contended that there was no direct correlation between the spike in some crimes and the DA's policies.

The recall in San Francisco could have implications for other reform-minded prosecutors.

In Los Angeles County, organizers are close to gathering enough signatures to force a recall vote for District Attorney George Gascon. He was elected in 2020 and previously served as San Francisco's DA. His resignation and move to Southern California paved the way for Boudin to take office.


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