Chesa Boudin was elected as San Francisco’s district attorney in 2019 riding a wave of support for progressive prosecutors. He promised to eliminate cash bail and reexamine wrongful convictions. Boudin also ran on a personal story about how the criminal justice system shaped his life.
His mother Kathy was a member of radical group Weather Underground, and she drove one of the getaway cars in the 1981 robbery of a Brink’s truck. Boudin’s father, David Gilbert, was also involved in the getaway. Boudin was at home with a babysitter that day.
Neither parent pulled the trigger, but both were convicted of the murder of a Brink’s guard for their role in the robbery. As a result, Boudin was raised by fellow Weather Underground members Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohm.
Kathy Boudin was paroled in 2003, and last month New York state granted parole to Gilbert. He’ll be released before the end of November.
KCRW looks back on the crime and how it affected the New York communities where it took place.