Los Angeles Times

Newly elected prosecutors push progressive reforms

PHILADELPHIA - District attorneys used to brag about how many criminals they threw behind bars. Now an increasing number boast of how many they kept out of prison.

Progressive prosecutors have won often-contentious elections in big cities and in suburbs, and they are challenging long-held law-and-order conventions. Sounding more like liberal activists and civil rights lawyers than traditional hard-nosed DAs, the prosecutors are seeking to transform criminal justice systems.

These progressives have been elected in contests in Philadelphia and in Houston, Chicago, Tampa, Boston and Durham, N.C., among other places. In June, progressives took down incumbents in two populous counties in Washington's northern Virginia suburbs.

Los Angeles voters could weigh in next year if the progressive district attorney of San Francisco, George Gascon, a former assistant chief of the LAPD, decides to challenge incumbent Jackie Lacey.

The new-style prosecutors are seeking to end mass incarceration, eliminate cash bail, divert more

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