Progressive district attorneys facing increased scrutiny

U.S.

CHICAGO (NewsNation) — The recall effort against Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon looks to be on track for a November vote.

The prospect comes amid a swell of backlash against progressive prosecutors across the country who, critics claim, are just too soft on crime. 

“Simple possession of a gun is not considered a violent crime, ‘K?” Gascon said of his handling of the felon-with-a-gun case against alleged cop-killer Justin Flores, who was out on probation. 

The killings gave new momentum to the recall effort against him,  and now the initial screening of signatures has yielded enough verifications for a full count, as supporters are encouraged and outraged at the uptick in violent crime 

“It’s a disaster,” former District Attorney Steve Cooley said on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” Friday. Cooley is among those blaming progressives for the uptick in crime. 

“Prosecutors should obey the law that is on the books. Not make up their own laws, impose their own ideology and interfere with the normal workings of the justice system,” he said. 

Cristine Soto DeBerry, founder and executive director of the Prosecutors Alliance of California and a former chief of staff for the San Francisco district attorney, feels this assessment misses the point.

“Dated, tough-on-crime approaches have not made our communities safer, but have produced insecurity and instability that (have) increased recidivism rates and exacerbated homelessness in our communities,” DeBerry told “Rush Hour.” 

San Francisco ousted District Attorney Chesa Boudin in a recall last month. There is also anti-progressive momentum in New York. Among the critics there are the widows of fallen officers.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has only been on the job since January, but in that time he has experienced an exodus of 12% of his staff. 

Despite outrage in Chicago, Cook County District Attorney Kim Foxx narrowly won reelection. And in Philadelphia, a push to oust District Attorney Larry Krasner has him pushing back against previous policies.

“Mass incarceration … illegal tactics used by police that have been incredibly harmful. I have chosen a different path,” Krasner said. 

A spokesperson for Gascon told NewsNation that as they await the outcome of the petition signature count, they remain focused on their work and creating a “more equitable justice system.” 

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