News and Commentary

Two Killed After Progressive Prosecutor Refuses To Charge Repeat Offenders Of Nonviolent Offenses
Paramedic team knealing around injured cyclist lying on street, damaged bicycle beside them, firefighter walking past them.
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Two people were killed by a drunk driver in a hit-and-run accident after the perpetrator was repeatedly allowed back on the streets for numerous offenses.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that Troy McCallister was the drunk driver who struck 60-year-old Elizabeth Platt and 27-year-old Hanako Abe on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco. McCallister had accepted a plea agreement over a robbery charge in April that allowed him to remain on the streets, and he had been arrested numerous times since then, the Free Beacon reported, including for car theft just two weeks before the hit-and-run.

“But none of those arrests led to prosecution and incarceration, thanks to [San Francisco District Attorney Chesa] Boudin’s soft-touch prosecutorial practices. The progressive D.A. made his refusal to charge even serial offenders like McAllister for nonviolent offenses a hallmark of his campaign—a position he may now be reevaluating,” the Free Beacon reported. “Boudin charged McAllister with manslaughter and promised changes after a ‘heart-wrenching’ meeting with Hanako’s mother Hiroko Abe, who has spoken out in the wake of her daughter’s death. But the San Francisco D.A.’s prior inaction may still come back to bite him, as he faces a recall effort and harsh criticism from the city’s police union.”

As the Free Beacon reported, Boudin’s progressive bonafides earned him his position as D.A.:

Boudin’s progressive pedigree has distinguished him even among other reformist district attorneys, such as his predecessor, George Gascón, who is now the Los Angeles D.A. That’s due in part to a hard-left upbringing: Boudin’s parents were members of the left-wing radical group Weather Underground, and both were convicted of felony murder for their involvement with the organization. Before running for district attorney, Boudin served as a San Francisco public defender and worked for Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez.

That past carried over into Boudin’s campaign platform, which included promises to end quality-of-life prosecutions in a city notorious for public disorder, litter, and vagrancy. Since taking office, he has delivered on many of those promises—ending cash bailprohibiting the use of “three strikes” life and gang-enhancement charges, and prohibiting evidence obtained in stop-and-frisk searches from leading to prosecutions.

But the way he views crime no longer appeals to those who elected him.

Gascon faces his own issues over his soft approach to crime in a crime-ridden city. As The Daily Wire reported, Gascon in December issued a directive that ended cash bail and declined prosecutions for numerous misdemeanor crimes, including resisting arrest and disturbing the peace — at a time when Los Angeles was under siege by violent rioters. Less than two weeks later, Gascon reversed the order after a public backlash. That didn’t save Gascon, however, as the Los Angeles Prosecutors Union filed a lawsuit against him at the end of the year declaring the new policies “invalid and illegal.”

“Los Angeles County prosecutors have been placed in an impossible position,” Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles Vice President Eric Siddall said at the time. “Do we follow our legal and ethical responsibilities and risk getting disciplined, even fired, by our new boss? Or do we follow his policy directives and risk losing our California State Bar Cards and, by extension, our ability to practice law anywhere in the state? We’re asking a court to answer those questions.”

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