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SF Public Defender Mano Raju’s Statement After Recall of District Attorney Chesa Boudin

“After the election results recalling District Attorney Chesa Boudin, the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office reiterates our commitment to advocating for system-impacted community members and racial equity, and confronting and dismantling state violence that is endemic to our system. We know – from decades of misguided policies and budget priorities that have targeted communities of color for criminalization and created mass incarceration – that real public safety for all communities comes when we invest in people, not punishment. 

We must remain resolute in our commitments – and those made by leaders and communities across the country after the rise of the Black Lives Matter movements and the murder of George Floyd – to address racial equity and police violence; especially in the face of blatant misinformation that is being used to undermine thoughtful and effective advances in justice reform. 

Many San Franciscans and people around the country know that our justice system is plagued by racial and economic bias, and that it incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, yet leaves us no safer. 

A number of advances made during Boudin’s tenure at the District Attorney’s Office have been promising – such as the Innocence Commission, resentencing opportunities, commitments to not try youth as adults, and limits to the use of strike enhancements.

Any District Attorney who is committed to justice and public safety should continue down the path of prioritizing opportunities for prevention and intervention over criminalization and incarceration to help minimize the harm that spirals into our communities and families when a loved one becomes entangled with the criminal legal system. I urge Mayor Breed to appoint an interim District Attorney with a proven record of commitment to justice reform and racial equity and who is not beholden to the police department, or to wealthy corporate interests.” 

Mano Raju, Public Defender of San Francisco


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