District Attorney Larry Krasner has long argued that people should not be incarcerated for drug addiction. Now, he’s launching an unprecedented “diversion” program, in which prosecutors simply withdraw charges for those who show proof they’re in drug treatment.
The wave of so-called progressive prosecutors elected around the nation signals a return to the “checks and balances” originally envisioned in the U.S. justice system. But prosecutors themselves will have to do the heavy lifting, according to a law professor at William & Mary Law School.
A new initiative signed by 40 progressive district attorneys commits them to visit prisons, jails and juvenile detention centers; send their staffs; and incorporate such visits into mandatory training and job expectations.
The former longtime district attorney of Suffolk County, on New York’s Long Island, is going on trial with his former deputy on charges that they tried illegally to block an investigation of a prisoner’s beating.
The election of Chesa Boudin has increased the ranks of prosecutors determined to remake the justice system. But the movement is running into a countervailing force by more traditional players who fear “progressives” will endanger public safety.
Democrats won prosecutor elections in four Northern Virginia counties Tuesday, giving a movement for criminal justice reforms a major foothold in the state for the first time. Democratic megadonor George Soros’ political action committee spent nearly $1.2 million for three candidates.
Interim San Francisco District Attorney Suzy Loftus led Chesa Boudin by a scant 240 votes early Wednesday in the tight race to become San Francisco’s top prosecutor in an election that offered dueling visions for the city’s criminal justice system.