The Appeal: Three Prosecutor Races to Watch in November

In Alameda County, the outcome of a district attorney election could challenge the notion that Chesa Boudin’s recall in neighboring San Francisco was the beginning of the end for justice reform in the Bay Area. Civil rights attorney Pamela Price is running to replace retiring DA Nancy O’Malley, who has attracted criticism for rarely prosecuting cops who kill people and routinely fighting statewide reforms as the president of the California District Attorneys Association.

Price is facing off with Terry Wiley, who has worked in the Alameda DA’s office for more than three decades and has the backing of law enforcement associations. Both he and Price have pledged to never charge children as adults or seek the death penalty, but Price has gone further, saying she’ll aim to remove prisoners from death row and will never seek a sentence of life without parole. The two candidates also diverge on what to do about dangerous conditions in the Santa Rita jail. And Price supports eliminating cash bail to reduce the jail population, but Wiley says pretrial detention is necessary for many people incarcerated there.

A victory for Price would dovetail with the election of a reform-minded sheriff in June, potentially pointing toward a broader shift for a large county with a long history of police brutality, harsh prosecution, and high incarceration rates. But with more campaign cash on hand, Wiley could prevail.


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