San Francisco D.A. Announces End to Cash Bail
By Charles Fain Lehman
Chesa Boudin, San Francisco’s notoriously progressive district attorney, announced Wednesday that his office will no longer support cash bail, becoming the latest law enforcement figure to come out against the practice.
Instead of asking judges to set cash bail as a condition of a defendant’s release before trial, Boudin’s office will instead proffer a “risk assessment” as to whether or not a defendant is likely to abscond or pose a threat to public safety. The abolition of bail was one of Boudin’s main promises during his campaign for D.A. last year, the San Francisco Chronicle reports . . .
As the Free Beacon recently reported, San Francisco has faced a surge of transit crime, which a grand jury report linked to pervasive disorder and fare evasion. Such disorder extends to San Francisco’s streets, which are increasingly strewn with “trash, needles, and human feces.” Drug overdose is also on the rise, as preliminary data from the San Francisco Chronicle indicate that deaths involving the opioids fentanyl and heroin more than doubled between 2018 and 2019.
Amid this chaos, Boudin said during his campaign that he would not prosecute quality-of-life offenses like “public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, and blocking a sidewalk,” but would instead focus on police misconduct and corporate crime.
Kerry Jackson, a fellow at the Pacific Research Institute who has written on public safety issues, told the Free Beacon that Boudin’s choice to end cash bail is part-and-parcel with his unwillingness to address San Francisco’s crime problems.
“It fits with his decision to look the other way at the quality-of-life crimes that are driving the city downward,” Jackson said. “I think people are going to say he’s making the best effort possible to increase crime in San Francisco. That might not be his intention, but that’s likely to be the outcome.”