Justice

SF District Attorney Candidate Chesa Boudin On Criminal Justice Reform

This child of incarcerated parents dedicated his life to criminal justice reform and is now running for district attorney in San Francisco.

Chesa Boudin is the child of incarcerated parents—now he’s an aspiring San Francisco District Attorney.

Boudin’s parents were arrested in 1981, having been members of the Weather Underground—a radical left militant organization that the FBI classified at domestic terrorists. They drove the getaway car in an armed robbery that resulted in the deaths of two police officers and were both sentenced to decades behind bars.

Boudin was adopted by a wealthy family but he described growing up as “living between two worlds,” because he also visited his parents in prison. While waiting in line to speak with them, he noticed that the other families at the prison were predominantly people of color.

Because of this, he is making eradicating racial bias in criminal justice a part of his platform, including many other progressive promises, like taking steps to end mass incarceration, expanding on mental health resources for felons and prosecuting sex crimes effetely. He also wants to stand up to Trump's xenophobic rhetoric by creating the first ever immigration Unit in the District Attorney’s office.

“Probably I’d be the first district attorney, certainly in San Francisco, to have a loved one behind bars in history,” he explained. “Given what a widespread phenomenon it is in this country, I think it’s really important perspective to think about the consequences of incarceration, to think about what it means to ask a judge to sentence someone to life in prison—or to any term in prison.”

If he wins, Boudin would be one of many “progressive prosecutors” taking office in cities across the U.S., like Larry Krasner, Rachael Rollins and Kim Foxx.

“There is so much we can do to end mass incarceration, to decrease racial disparities, to give victims a voice, and to make our communities safer, in a way that doesn’t just have a revolving door of people in and out of jail,” he said.

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