On Tuesday, a recall movement against San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is quickly growing following criticism over allowing the early release of a criminal with little supervision, who proceeded to kill two people on New Year’s Eve.
As the California Globe reported earlier, Troy Ramon McAlister had been jailed under a “three strikes law” by former San Francisco DA George Gascon for committing violent felonies and a carjacking. However, earlier this year, DA Boudin released McAlister with all strikes dropped.
The now paroled McAlister then proceeded to get high on methamphetamines, steal a car, steal a gun, and then kill two pedestrians in a hit and run. Boudin immediately blamed the parole system despite that it was his decision to let the violent criminal go.
While Boudin did relent and push charges against McAlister for the deaths, additional information showing that he had actually been McAlister’s public defender in 2018 when he was initially jailed under the three strikes law have led many to question Boudin’s motives in the 2020 release even more.
Boudin’s actions, primarily allowing the parole of McAlister despite a history of violence, have reinvigorated the recall movement against Chesa Boudin. On Tuesday, it was reported that the petition received 5,000 signatures in only a matter of days, with many more expected this week.
While the early release of violent offenders, including McAlister, have been the crux of the recall movement, the tying of those releases to the rise in crime in San Francisco and the number of overdose deaths being higher than COVID-19 deaths in the city in 2020. The movement is so strong that both Democratic and Republican groups have joined the petition.
“This has shot up almost overnight due to that hit and run,” former lobbyist Harry Schultz told the Globe. “Historically, recall movements over local things like this don’t always work, but California has seen some high profile furor similar to Boudin in recent years that ended in recalls.
“Look at Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky. He presided over People V. Turner, where a Stanford swimmer had raped a woman. He hot a very lax sentence, most of which he didn’t serve. People saw it as a slight against justice, as well as trivializing rape cases, so a recall movement grew quickly and ousted him in 2018.
“For Boudin, he has allowed a criminal he previously helped represent go free, once in his position of power, only for that criminal to steal and kill again. Boudin already had a history of releasing people early like this, but McAlister just took the cake. People are dead because of what Boudin decided. It’s really more similar to the Willie Horton incident that stopped Michael Dukakis’ campaign in 1988, when he released a murderer who killed again. Like Persky, people are seeing this as a big slight against justice. But there’s so much more attached to it too. People have been recalled and impeached over a lot less than this.”
McAlister is expected to face charges soon. The petition against Boudin is expected to receive more signatures in the coming days.