My parents were incarcerated when I was a baby. Now I’m a lawyer working to fix the system

My freshman year at Yale I got a letter from my biological father with unwelcome news. He had a new neighbor, my childhood friend Lorenzo.

They were on the same cell block in maximum-security prison. Lorenzo’s imprisonment felt like fate. We came from different worlds: He was poor, black and an immigrant, while I was upper middle class, white and U.S.-born. As a black man, he had a 1 in 3 chance of serving time at some point in his life. What we had in common, however, was a significant risk factor for incarceration: Lorenzo and I became friends over many years of visiting our mothers behind bars. For him the odds played out.

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Multiple candidates get early start in race to replace San Francisco DA

 

By Paula Lehman-Ewing

The five candidates in this year's San Francisco district attorney election agree on a couple things: The moment is unique and the system is broken.

Their opinions on why the moment is unique and how to fix the criminal justice system in their city is where their unity begins to fracture.

 

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Candidates jump into SF district attorney race early to get a head start

When San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced in October — more than a year before the election — that he wouldn’t run for re-election in 2019, he started an early rush for the job.

So far, five candidates are in, and Gascón’s decision removed one big obstacle from the race. San Francisco’s Nov. 5 election will be the first time in more than a century without a sitting district attorney in the race — not since William Langdon bowed out in 1909 has the city had an open field in the contest for top prosecutor.

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From radical roots, Chesa Boudin seeks to become San Francisco's top prosecutor

Chesa Boudin was a model of understatement as he sat across the table inside a high-end Spanish bistro. Dark suit, white shirt, nondescript royal blue tie.

A recent email announcing his candidacy for San Francisco district attorney was similarly understated, referring to the “unique background” he brings to the contest to become the city’s chief prosecutor.

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A progressive candidate files for DA, opening up the 2019 race

Chesa Boudin, a deputy public defender whose life has been shaped by the criminal justice system, offers a new perspective in a campaign dominated by tough-on-crime candidates.

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Chesa Boudin, son of imprisoned radicals, looks to become SF district attorney

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Chesa Boudin’s world has never been free from the American criminal justice system.

When he was just over a year old, his parents — left-wing radicals in the Weather Underground — took part in a Brinks armored car robbery outside New York City that ended in the murder of two police officers and a security guard.

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SAN FRANCISCO DEPUTY PUBLIC DEFENDER CHESA BOUDIN ANNOUNCES RUN FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY

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In a wide-ranging interview, Boudin, a progressive reform candidate, told The Appeal he wants to redefine ‘public safety’ to encompass the rights of both victims and defendants.

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Public Defender Chesa Boudin Joins District Attorney Race

Former Police Commission President Suzy Loftus now has a serious competitor in the race for San Francisco district attorney. Deputy Public Defender Chesa Boudin filed papers at the Department of Elections today, kicking off what is sure to be a heated, issue-driven sprint toward the November 2019 election.

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Deputy public defender jumps into race for SF district attorney

Most candidates to become San Francisco’s next top prosecutor are lining up to the right of outgoing District Attorney George Gascon, but not one contender who jumped into the race Tuesday.

Deputy Public Defender Chesa Boudin, who helped lead efforts to reform the cash bail system in California last year, became the first candidate with the support of the progressive establishment to enter the race Tuesday.

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