© 2022 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Chesa Boudin Takes Office With A Promise To End Cash Bail

Jeff Chiu
AP Photo
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, center, gestures as he walks with Valerie Block during his swearing in ceremony in San Francisco, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.


Chesa Boudin was sworn in as San Francisco’s new district attorney yesterday. Boudin narrowly won the position against interim District Attorney Suzy Loftus, in a race that took days to resolve.



At the ceremony, Boudin promised to use his new position to immediately end cash bail and punitive sentencing enhancements. He also vowed not to prosecute cases that stem from illegal searches during traffic stops. And he laid out some longer-term plans.


"Join us in rejecting the notion that to seek justice we must abandon forgiveness, that to empower our protectors requires tolerating excessive force, that to be safe we should put the mentally ill and addicted in cages, that jails and prisons should be the primary responses to all of our social problems," Boudin said.

He added that he wants to create a comprehensive restorative justice program, and other alternatives to incarceration.

Boudin was sworn in by Mayor London Breed. She caused controversy by appointing Suzy Loftus as interim district attorney just a month before the election. The move was widely viewed as an attempt to sway the race in Loftus’s favor.

Last night, Mayor Breed struck a moderate tone. She emphasized the negative impacts of crime, but she also advocated for fairness. And she said she was looking forward to working with Boudin.


"We know that there is a balance between justice and fairness," Breed said. "And I appreciate that Chesa Boudin understands that balance."

During the ceremony, Boudin also received video congratulations from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Watch the full ceremony here.