George Soros Gets Criminal Justice All Wrong
‘No Crime and No Punishment’ was a pleasant daydream, but the results speak for themselves.
Mr. Soros hasn’t been financially supporting moderate prosecutors who are engaged in carefully adjusting and reforming the subtle mechanisms of the criminal-justice system. He has been providing outsize funding to inexperienced politicians who have engaged in wholesale de-prosecution of both felonies and misdemeanors. This isn’t reform. It is a speculative deconstruction of criminal justice.
Mr. Soros argues for replacing police responders with mental-health professionals, ignoring that police are almost always first on the scene to a mental-health emergency, which are often dangerous. He claims that research shows his prosecutors aren’t linked to increases in crime. (The authors of that study concede that it is “imprecisely estimated” and lacks statistical significance.) More recent research links the de-prosecution policies to large increases in homicides.
After decades of declining crime based on hard work by prosecutors and police, Mr. Soros and his supporters convinced the voting public that crime had been defeated and even violent criminals could be ignored. The result has been violence and disorder. Urban voters are now reacting by removing radical prosecutors like Marilyn Mosby in Baltimore and Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, demanding that prosecutors balance treatment and diversion programs with holding violent criminals accountable.
The utopian myth of “No Crime and No Punishment” funded by Mr. Soros is a pleasant daydream, but it doesn’t reflect the hard reality of violent crime in America.
Tom Hogan is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal