Former San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who was recalled for being soft on crime, hosted a talk with avowed communist Angela Davis about criminal justice reform as the inaugural event of his new legal center at the University of California Berkeley.
After voters recalled Boudin in June of last year over his leniency toward crime, Berkeley’s law school hired him to lead its new Criminal Law and Justice Center, where he earns $210,000 per year.
Berkeley Law, in an email to The College Fix, confirmed she was given “an honorarium of $1,000” for speaking at the Sept. 19 event.
The Fix asked Boudin what he hoped students would learn from the talk but did not receive a response to two inquiries sent in the past two weeks.
Boudin began the panel by praising Davis, who supports reparations and argues for abolishing prisons and police, for “the intellectual firepower she has brought to this movement.”
The pair then addressed “backlash” to “criminal justice reform,” which Boudin attributed to “fearmongering,” “police unions” and “Republican strategists.”
Davis said the Black Lives Matter movement and related protests in 2020 gave her “reason to hope” because they made ideas of prison abolition and defunding the police “more acceptable” to the general public.
In the meantime, Davis explained, “decarceration is one of the major strategies we can engage in right now as we try to imagine a moment in our history in which we no longer have to depend on repressive institutions like jails and prisons and police.”
“We have to dismantle institutions that cannot assist us in developing a radical democracy,” the Marxist scholar said while commending Boudin’s work as district attorney.
Boudin also said he was “proud of the decarceral work we did during the COVID pandemic,” explaining he had reduced juvenile incarceration in San Francisco by over 70 percent and adult incarceration by over 40 percent, drawing applause from the audience.
Davis claimed that Boudin’s recall made it more likely for people to be jailed “because they’re black,” and the attorney agreed.
Boudin concluded the panel by telling law students to focus their careers on “putting the justice back in the legal system.”
But Berkeley Law’s agenda is merely an attempt to “destroy” the legal system, the leader of the Boudin recall effort argued in a comment to The College Fix.
Recall Chesa Boudin founder Richie Greenberg called the event “further proof that the entire ‘Progressive Prosecutor’ movement is a sick cult led by sick, deranged minds.”
“Voters became wiser to this fact when we in San Francisco saw Chesa Boudin was dishonest, manipulative, and an ideologue who cared little to none about prosecution,” said Greenberg, a local political commentator. “The use of the word ‘prosecutor’ by him, by Angela Davis and all their colleagues and like-minded radicals are merely a scheme to justify them being elected.”
While in office, Boudin drew outrage for refusing to prosecute repeat offenders in violation of California’s “three strikes” law. One of them went on to allegedly kill two people in a hit-and-run, a case that Greenberg’s organization drew attention to.
“Boudin was not recalled due solely to ‘backlash’ against his decarceration desire, it was a tidal wave movement by law-abiding, safety and civic-minded residents who realized the fraud [he] actually was perpetrating, and his desire to destroy criminal justice in its entirety,” Greenberg added. “His attitude and anyone else with this mindset [have] no place in governance nor the prosecutorial side of justice.”
“America has awoken to the charade of George Soros-backed ‘DA’s,’” Greenberg told The Fix.
Boudin mentioned “plans to expand on Davis and other advocates’ work” after his event, according to the Daily Californian, UC Berkeley’s newspaper.
The next speaker listed on his facility’s event calendar is Mari Mari Narváez, an activist against police brutality and “colonial capitalism.”
The calendar also advertises a local screening of the upcoming documentary “Beyond Bars” the following week. The film follows the story of Boudin’s “pursuit to change the system” after his parents were incarcerated for their involvement in a robbery that led to the deaths of two police officers.
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