San Francisco D.A. Announces End to Cash Bail

Washington Free Beacon | 1/23/2020 | Charles Fain Lehman
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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.

Years - Discriminatory - Approach - Detention - Boudin

"For years I’ve been fighting to end this discriminatory and unsafe approach to pretrial detention," Boudin said. "From this point forward, pretrial detention will be based on public safety, not on wealth."

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The move further marks Boudin—the son of jailed left-wing terrorists who campaigned on refusing to prosecute quality-of-life offenses—as at the forefront of the "progressive prosecutor" movement. It is also another milestone in the push for abolishing cash bail, a practice opponents call unfair and socioeconomically discriminatory. California criminal justice experts the Washington Free Beacon spoke to, however, cautioned that Boudin's decision was both outside of his discretion and will likely further embroil his city in a petty crime crisis.

Boudin - Decision - Work - Predecessor - George

Boudin's decision extends the work of his predecessor, George Gascón, who helped organize a pilot program to use a risk assessment algorithm to help judges make bail decisions. Boudin's office on Wednesday praised the tool, which was designed by the left-leaning Laura and John Arnold Foundation, a major player in the bail reform movement. Six percent of individuals released by the algorithm reoffended, KQED reports, while 20 percent failed to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Washington Free Beacon
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