It’s a win that Boudin got guilty verdicts on murder and weapons charges in the killing of six-year-old Jace Young, but a loss in the eyes of those upset he tried the defendant as a minor, meaning a far shorter prison sentence.
One could criticize the slow but ultimately successful SFPD search for the two suspects in the July 4, 2020 shooting of six-year-old Jace Young, killed senselessly and seemingly without cause while watching fireworks at a friend’s birthday on the 1200 block of Ingalls Street. Police had no leads for a month, then offered a $100,000 reward for information, but the case remained cold. That was until January 2021, when police arrested 18-year-old James Harbor on suspicion of the shooting. They announced the search for a second suspect in July 2021, and the Chronicle reported in August that police had arrested suspect Deshaune Lumpkin, who was 17 years old at the time of the shooting.
And because Lumpkin was tried as a juvenile, we have a verdict more quickly (Harbor’s trial as an adult has yet to begin). On Monday, district attorney Chesa Boudin’s office won guilty verdicts on four of the six counts against Lumpkin, which included murder, attempted murder, and carrying a loaded firearm with the intent to commit a felony.
Lumpkin was 17 at the time of the shooting, but is now 18. Per juvenile criminal law, having been tried as a minor he will serve no more than eight years. Adults are generally sentenced to far longer terms.
But predictably, right-wing media outlets located thousands of miles away are up in arms because Boudin tried Lumpkin as a minor, where sentences carry far less time behind bars. Fox News declared “liberal DA Chesa Boudin: Making 'justice system a complete joke.'” The Washington Examiner says that “Being a victim of crime in San Francisco is a nightmare that is becoming an all-too-common reality under Boudin.” The Daily Mail (of London, mind you) adds the assessment “Dad rips woke San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin.”
Those publications’ reporting does not come from reporting, but copy-pasting from the Recall Cheda Boudin campaign emails. They pull a quote apparently from those spam emails, from Jace’s Young’s father Jason Young.
“I am so angry with Chesa Boudin right now. He makes San Francisco’s criminal justice system a complete joke," Young says in the campaign email. "The killer of my 6-year-old son will likely serve less time than the age of my son because of Chesa's campaign promise. Boudin's campaign promises do not protect San Franciscans and ensure justice – they only allow criminals, and in this case, murderers, to return to the community."
A Boudin spokesperson said in a response to Fox News, “Our heart breaks for the Young family, whom our Victim Services Division has continued to support." That spokesperson Rachel Marshall added that, "We secured a guilty verdict yesterday in juvenile court against one defendant, and we are awaiting trial to start for the adult, whom we are prosecuting for murder as well. We are committed to holding accountable those responsible for this tragic crime.”
Your thoughts on whether this is a win or a disaster for Boudin probably depend on your thoughts on the recall. And on that matter, your mind is likely already made up. Supporters will say Boudin won a swift guilty verdict on a high-profile case where police took 13 months to produce a suspect, critics will say his trying the suspect as a minor shows Boudin lacks the killer instinct to properly prosecute a killer.
And ultimately, you’ll have your say at the recall election on June 7. Until then, your going to hear a lot more rage from the recall’s $16,000 a month spokesperson, and right-wing media outlets located thousands of miles away.