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Why Is the District Attorney’s Race So Important?

September 8, 2019

By Nuala Sawyer Bishari : sfweekly – excerpt

Voters have a rare chance in November to think critically about a key part of our criminal justice system.

The biggest race in San Francisco in November’s election is undoubtedly that of the District Attorney.

George Gascón said late last year that he would not be running for re-election, opening up an incumbent-free race. For the first time in eight years, voters will have a chance to rethink a key part of the city’s criminal justice system. With a talented field of four candidates, the stakes are high.

And yet, not everyone in San Francisco is aware of what a district attorney does. There’s a general understanding that the DA’s office is the prosecutorial arm of the court system, bringing charges against those who break the law. But the job requires more than just being an agent of the law; when maximized to its creative potential, the District Attorney can introduce propositions, institute criminal justice reform measures, and change the structure of how we respond to marginalized populations who end up in jail…(more)

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