After discussing a disingenuous hit job on San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin, Radley Balko points out that the media is projecting a dissatisfaction on reformist DAs on voters who turn out not to share it. And one really obvious problem with blaming the (genuinely concerning!) increase in violent crime on progressive DAs is that violent crime is up as much or more in jurisdictions with old-timey reactionary DAs:
Ultimately, the case against Boudin rests on two assumptions: that crime in the city has exploded and that Boudin isn’t charging people at the rate his predecessors did. And neither of those assumptions is true. There’s also little evidence that progressive policies such as ending cash bail or refusing to charge low-level offenses have anything to do with the spike in violence nationwide. The 2020 figures are expected to show a homicide surge coast to coast, in rural areas and urban areas, in jurisdictions with both reform-minded radicals and law-and-order stalwarts in the DA’s chair.
It’s also worth noting that the people most affected by these policies seem to be okay with them. Last month, despite media speculation that the city’s escalating murder rate would hurt him politically, Philadelphia voters reelected reformist DA Larry Krasner last month by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. The gap was even higher in high-crime areas. Chicago’s top prosecutor Kim Foxx was also reelected in November, as was St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. Both faced elevated homicide rates and vocal opposition from police unions.
It would be nice if more reporters understood that Death Wish wasn’t a documentary.