Senator Tom Cotton speaks in front of chart.
Image from U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton's official web page

Defeating ‘Soros prosecutors’

Sen. Tom Cotton writes at National Review Online about a problem plaguing America’s criminal justice system. It involves prosecutors who are unwilling to fight crime.

In recent years, radical left-wing lawyers, many supported by billionaire George Soros, have won elected office across America. They have become district attorneys and state’s attorneys in many major American cities. These so-called Soros prosecutors, or progressive prosecutors, have betrayed the public trust and made our communities less safe. Instead of fighting crime, they are abetting it.

Soros prosecutors are refusing to charge criminals for shoplifting, vagrancy, and entire categories of misdemeanors. In Chicago, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx allows theft under $1,000 to go unpunished. In Manhattan, District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. refuses to enforce laws against prostitution. In Baltimore, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has unilaterally declared the war on drugs “over” and is refusing to criminally charge drug dealers and heroin addicts, in the middle of the worst drug crisis in American history. For a time, Los Angeles DA George Gascon even stopped enforcing laws against disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, and making criminal threats.

In cities where they’ve taken office, progressive prosecutors coddle even violent, career criminals, often agreeing to sweetheart deals and routinely circumventing three-strikes laws. The city of San Francisco, where Chesa Boudin is the district attorney, provides a tragic case study in what can happen as a result.

Last year, a career criminal named Troy McAlister faced a well-deserved life sentence as a result of California’s three-strikes law. His long and violent rap sheet included multiple robberies, thefts, and an attempted carjacking. Instead of permanently taking this criminal off the streets, Chesa Boudin cut a deal with McAlister that resulted in his release. McAlister went on to commit a series of crimes leading to three separate arrests. Boudin refused to charge him each time.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...