What about the two innocent women that were killed on New Years Eve? Wouldn’t they have been alive if Chesa didn’t let that person out of prison?

Answer

That case was a terrible tragedy that took two lives.   Certainly, if we could have predicted the future, Chesa would have responded differently.   But he made decisions based on the information we had at the time.   Chesa settled Mr. McAlister’s prior case in 2020 for the maximum–5 years–for a robbery, consistent with his general policy to punish people for the crime they commit and not their priors.   Because he had already been in jail for 5 years, he was released.

Mr. McAlister then was arrested for several nonviolent offenses.   In each new non-violent arrest the DA’s office referred the case to the parole department - consistent with longstanding policy–and expected that parole would respond accordingly. Instead, parole failed to take action each time. The DA’s Office had not been informed that because of the pandemic parole was only responding to violent violations. This was a communication failure.

In the days right before the New Year's tragedy, Daly City police received a report of Mr. McAlister stealing a car while armed with a gun–a much more serious case than the nonviolent arrests he had recently had.   The victim of the car theft reported it to police and provided his name and identifying information.   Despite Daly City knowing his name and address, they inexplicably decided to follow up on January 3–which was too late as by that time Mr. McAlister had driven the stolen car (with the gun inside) and crashed into Hanako Abe and Elizabeth Platt, killing them both.

There is nothing we can do to bring back Ms. Abe or Ms. Platt, but Chesa did implement dramatic reforms after their deaths. He decided that, rather than referring cases to parole when someone violates parole, the DA’s Office itself would file those violations.   The reason parole violations are important is they allow someone to be held in jail on a much lower standard and with much less evidence. So now the DA’s Office will file parole violations, rather than waiting to see if parole does it.   Since beginning this policy, the DA’s Office has been filing MORE parole violations than the parole division itself!   This year, the DA’s Office has filed 45 violations–and parole has only filed 40.

Only the DA’s Office has made real changes and improvements as a result of this tragedy. What is important is that this tragedy not be exploited by a campaign seeking to use it to advance their agenda.