We’ve been told for years at the beginning of “Law and Order,” the American criminal justice system is comprised of the police and district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. That system is clearly breaking down.
Radical district attorneys hold office in New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Baltimore, Orlando, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and beyond. These leftist Democrat prosecutors often win in cities with long-standing one-party rule.
Americans are ready for bold action against these radical DAs. According to a new poll commissioned by the National Police Association, the majority of likely voters are looking for state leaders to take action against prosecutors whose policies are creating a deadly revolving door justice system.
In many of these jurisdictions, district attorneys can be removed from office for cause by the state’s governor or recalled by the voters. Governors need to step up and citizens need to demand accountability.
Unwillingness to prosecute laws on the books is de facto mismanagement of the office. Using data regarding arrests, prosecutions, bail and sentencing recommendations as well as recidivism, as evidence of willful misconduct or negligence, states must investigate Soros-backed DAs who are often unilaterally instituting reforms.
In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul could remove District Attorney Alvin Bragg. In Pennsylvania, district attorneys like Larry Krasner can be removed for “reasonable cause.” In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers could remove Milwaukee DA John Chisolm. In California, prosecutors are subject to recall.
The breakdown of the system is not a coincidence. Over the last dozen years, George Soros has funneled more than $30 million into dozens of campaigns for district attorneys in major cities across America. In 2014, Mr. Soros’ flagship Open Society Foundation gave $50 million to the ACLU’s Campaign to End Mass Incarceration.
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla, who spent more than $400 million on the 2020 election on what they called “voter education” efforts, have put millions more into the left-wing Fair and Just Prosecution initiative, a training curriculum for radical prosecutors. The Chan-Zuckerberg initiative has also pledged more than $350 million to justice reform programs including The Just Trust, which advocates for reduced incarceration.
The network of supposed nonprofits and other groups involved in this cabal is immense. Many of the charities have companion 501(c)4 advocacy organizations that promote public policy shifts like ending cash bail. All of the philanthropies and activist groups have innocuous names like the Kamala Harris-backed Minnesota Freedom Fund, or the massive Tides Foundation.
State action must also therefore address the influence of these leftist groups. Political contributions from outside the DAs jurisdiction should be prohibited. Political Action Committees of all types should be restricted from aiding their campaigns as well as judicial races. Increased campaign finance reporting should be required for both DAs and judicial candidates and they should be prohibited from accepting contributions within a certain period before the election to ensure full transparency.
The giant octopus of leftist groups shouldn’t be able to dump money into a race in the final days to boost a radical DA or soft-on-crime judge.
These groups and dozens more claim to be ending poverty, reducing crime and reforming what they claim is systemically racist system. They do none of those things and the crime data so starkly proves that, any rational observer should wonder about the real motivations of all this political machinery.
In Seattle, many business owners have stopped calling the police because it’s not effective. In Philadelphia, murders are at their highest rate in history. In New York City, shootings are up, and stores are locking up merchandise. This week, a woman was stabbed 40 times after being followed to her apartment by another career criminal who shouldn’t have been out on the street.
In San Antonio, homicides are up 52% since 2019. The violence in Chicago is daily. More than 1,000 Cook County, Illinois, residents were murdered in 2021. Just days ago, a 15-year-old Chicago boy was shot 24 times.
The list goes on and behind every statistic are victims, most of whom are racial minorities.
Last year was an historically deadly year for our nation’s law enforcement. So far in 2022, 45 hero cops have already died in the line of duty and dozens more have been shot.
These DAs and their policies are an abuse of power and they cost lives. District attorneys do not establish the law. Laws that are not enforced are not laws at all. Stopping the carnage requires immediate action and political courage. Failure means acquiescence to more death and crime. Voters will remember who stepped up in this moment and who didn’t.
• Tom Basile is the host of “America Right Now” on Newsmax Television, an author and a former Bush administration official.