This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation
. The author of this post is Brittany Raymer
Billionaire George Soros is defending his support of the soft-on-crime prosecutors he helped elect throughout the country, which many believe has led to a massive spike in crime.
At 91-years-old, Soros is focused on leaving his mark on America through justice reform by financially contributing to progressive, soft-on-crime prosecutors across the country. If that leads to a massive spike in crime, it's just the price that Americans in some of the nation's most populous urban areas have to pay so that progressives and the aging billionaire to reform the system into something they deem "fair."
But it's not going too well, and that's how Soros ended up writing an op-ed for the Wall Street Journaldefending his philosophy and the prosecutors he's helped elect.
"In recent years, reform-minded prosecutors and other law-enforcement officials around the country have been coalescing around an agenda that promises to be more effective and just. This agenda includes prioritizing the resources of the criminal-justice system to protect people against violent crime. It urges that we treat drug addiction as a disease, not a crime. And it seeks to end the criminalization of poverty and mental illness.
"This agenda, aiming at both safety and justice, is based on both common sense and evidence. It's popular. It's effective. The goal is not defunding the police but restoring trust between the police and the policed, a partnership that fosters the solving of crimes."
The people of San Francisco and Los Angeles strongly disagree.
Former District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who's distain for criminal prosecution led to a sharp increase in crime throughout the city, was recently recalled in the liberal bastion of San Francisco over his progressive policies. Soros donated a million dollars to oppose his recall.
Los Angeles county is also involved in a recall effort against Soros backed District Attorney George Gascon, who many believe is fueling the city's homelessness and crime crisis. The success of those efforts is somewhat in doubt as there are allegations that Los Angeles County officials are not following the law, which gives the Gascon an edge.
Even among this recall effort, his office has also recently announced that it's looking to commute the sentence of as many people on death row as possible, calling such sentences "racist."
"The reality is a death penalty doesn't make us safer. It is racist. It's morally untenable, its irreversible and expensive,"
Gascon claims. "And it's not just off the table going forward. I am committed to resentencing those currently on death row to life in prison."
Families of the victims are not happy with the decision, especially as his goal is to make as many of those death row inmates as eligible for parole at some point.
There are no publicly identified Soros backed attorneys in North Carolina, but that doesn't mean progressivism and Soros' philosophy hasn't influenced certain prosecutors.
For example, Durham District Attorney Santana Deberry testified before Congress, stating: "We have to stop pretending reform is the real threat to public safety and recognize how over- reliance on prosecution and incarceration may make us less safe. We do not need to "choose" between reform and public safety - those two objectives are inherently linked.
"While prison is warranted in individual, serious cases, there is little evidence that prisons reduce recidivism and at least some evidence they make individuals more likely to commit crimes after release, according to a 2011 paper. High community incarceration rates can actually lead to increased crime, and a range of other harms throughout the community, a 2008 study found."
Though reform is perhaps necessary, there's no evidence that keeping criminals out of jail has helped the nation either.
There are also efforts to push out traditional liberal prosecutor Lorrin Freeman from Wake County and replace her with someone more progressive.
In some of these prosecution races, safety and the future of the state is really on the line for North Carolina in these 2022 elections.