The performance of progressive prosecutors is being questioned, and even rejected by part of the voters. Many of them are being lavishly funded by tycoon George Soros. The speculator has written an article in the Wall Street Journal in which he is forced to respond to criticism of his funded prosecutors.
The article is not intended to engage in a broad debate on the causes of the increase in crime, as it is a justification of its subsidy policy: it is entitled "Why I support reform prosecutors". And whatever the terms of that debate, Soros already says he will not change his ways: "I have been involved in efforts to reform the criminal-justice system for the more than 30 years I have been a philanthropist". And adds: "I have done it transparently, and I have no intention of stopping".
Soros defends himself by saying that a study conducted in 35 jurisdictions would show that there is no relationship between the performance of their prosecutors and the increase in crime. The article does not cite the study, so the conclusions of the study cannot be verified, which is highly unusual for an article published by the WSJ.
But it is precisely the incidence of crime that prompted the motion to recuse San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin and ultimately her ouster by voters after three years of reformist politics. In San Francisco, only 7% of registered voters in San Francisco are Republicans. Boudin lost to a candidate who was also progressive, but who reflected in her speeches the concern of Angelenos about the increase in crime.
To understand the article, it is necessary to translate some of the expressions used in it, which are a bit vague, into real policies. Thus, he says that it is not a question defunding the police, but "restoring trust between the police and the policed". He is refering to the measures of monitoring the police forces and the limitation of their functions.
The Brennan Center for Justice, a supporter of such measures mentions several of them. Minneapolis has limited police action in schools. New York stripped the NYPD of the status of immunity. Colorado has done the same. Several cities are conducting police clean-up operations. The standards for the use of force have been changed. Police forces are subject to control by the community, articulated by social organizations, and the investigation of their police actions has been increased. The result, as George Soros himself acknowledges, is less and less policing, which is leading to an increase in crime.
It also says that its prosecutors have followed a policy of "prioritizing the resources of the criminal-justice system to protect people against violent crime". This means no longer prosecuting misdemeanor crime. Progressive prosecutors link this kind of crime to poverty, and Soros himself explains it in his article: prosecuting less serious crimes involves the "the criminalization of poverty and mental illness".
That's why Soros wants the work of his prosecutors to be complemented by other social reform strategies, such as psychologists working in troubled areas, bringing teachers into prisons, or treating drug addiction as a disease.