Since 2016, billionaire George Soros has funded a quiet overhaul of the U.S. justice system with undeniably effective results.
For decades, Soros made it his mission to defeat and undermine conservative causes. Now, he’s spending big to tip the scales in district attorney races across the country. By injecting millions of dollars into local elections, Soros has flipped the traditional campaign strategy for D.A. candidates on its head. Instead of talking tough on crime, left-wing lawyers are running on the promise of refusing to charge criminals for theft, resisting arrest and even dealing drugs. From Los Angeles to Philadelphia, and more moderate localities in between, they’re winning races that will determine the future of criminal justice.
While it’s difficult to choose, here are seven of the most egregious examples of misconduct by George Soros-backed prosecutors. We’ve emphasized prosecutorial misconduct in Virginia (given the Old Dominion’s imminent elections). Still, our list goes nationwide to show what police officers and victims of crime across the country confront.
1. The Death Penalty Case of Mark Lawlor
Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano has shown a disregard for victims of crime by focusing his efforts on far-left legal reforms that defy laws passed by Virginia’s state representatives.
Though he ran against an incumbent, 72% of Descano’s fundraising came from the George Soros-funded Justice & Public Safety PAC. This gave Descano a significant cash advantage over his opponent.
Although the Commonwealth of Virginia allows for the death penalty in particularly heinous crimes, Descano refused to uphold the death penalty conviction for Mark Lawlor. Lawlor admitted to murdering 29-year-old Genevieve “Gini” Orange by striking her 47 times with a claw hammer or frying pan. As Orange died, choking on her blood, Lawlor raped her. While the previous commonwealth’s attorney sentenced Lawlor to death, Descano declined to uphold the sentence after a federal court granted a resentencing—despite the objections of Orange’s family.
Descano meekly claims that understaffing drives decisions on what crimes his office will prosecute. In reality, his unprecedented refusal to initiate legal proceedings is purely political.
Here’s a sampling of the crimes under the Code of Virginia that Descano ignores:
- Aiding escape of prisoner or child
- Assault and battery
- Conspiracy; incitement, etc., to riot
- Obstructing justice; resisting arrest; fleeing from a law enforcement officer
- Setting off chemical bombs capable of producing smoke in certain public buildings
2. Pedophile’s Victims Robbed of Justice
Descano also sparked outrage in September 2021 when his office gave a convicted pedophile a plea deal of 17 years and two months in prison. Prosecutors initially claimed to be seeking a life sentence. However, they later agreed to a 30-year plea deal after Oscar Roberto Zaldivar confessed, which they eventually slashed by more than 40%.
The families of two of the sex offender’s victims (a grand jury indicted Zaldivar for allegedly abusing another girl) told NBC4 Washington that prosecutors with the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney office didn’t even consult with them.
A woman who asked to remain anonymous told the local affiliate that Zaldivar raped and abused her daughter for eight years before his arrest. Court documents say the victim was five years old at the time of the first assault.
“It will never seem fair to me that a person who abuses a minor is going to spend 15 to 20 years in prison,” lamented the grieving mother.
Judge Thomas Mann, who oversaw the case, agreed, telling the woman in court that “You’re victimized not only by this man but by your own government… I’m offended for you.”
For its part, the Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney’s office claimed to have kept the victims’ families informed throughout the process. At the same time, Descano’s Chief of Staff, Ben Shnider, criticized Judge Mann for his comments about the plea deal, calling them “inappropriate” and a “political statement.”
3. Letting Drug Smugglers Walk
Parisa Dehghani-Tafti became Arlington County and the City of Falls Church’s top prosecutor after the 2019 Virginia elections. She’s now the subject of a recall campaign that has generated some traction in recent weeks.
Although she won over her constituents with pledges for criminal justice reform that included reducing racial disparities in sentencing and investigating the causes of wrongful convictions, Dehghani-Tafti’s priorities have led others to claim she’s abdicating her prosecutorial responsibilities.
Last year, Dehghani-Tafti repeatedly clashed with Arlington County Judge Daniel S. Fiore II over her office’s handling of a plea agreement with a man arrested for having 50 pounds of marijuana at Reagan National Airport.
Judge Fiore refused to accept Dehghani-Tafti’s plea deal with the suspect, leading to his removal from the case. Undeterred, Dehghani-Tafti continued to argue for the original agreement, giving the defendant probation under the promise of good behavior.
Multiple Arlington Circuit Court judges have fought Dehghani-Tafti’s blanket decisions to stop prosecuting specific laws, stating that she must at least offer a written brief explaining her reasoning in each case.
However, Dehghani-Tafti says their opposition infringes on her ability to do her job, calling it “judicial activism.” It’s unclear what she would call her approach to picking and choosing which laws to enforce.
4. Ignoring Pro-Life Laws Altogether
Instead of leaving policy decisions to the General Assembly and governor, eight Virginia commonwealth’s attorneys recently chose, yet again, only to enforce laws they support.
The group includes Soros-backed prosecutors Buta Biberaj (D-Loudoun), Parisa Dehghani-Tafti (D-Arlington), Steve Descano (D-Fairfax) and Stephanie Morales (D-Portsmouth). This time, their professed prosecutorial discretion involves laws that limit abortion.
At the time, Virginia Society for Human Life President Olivia Turner pointed out, “should any new laws be enacted by the General Assembly, the Commonwealth’s Attorneys are suggesting that they know better than the elected officials for the people of Virginia.”
Her concern is particularly salient now that some of the most recent polling in Virginia’s 2021 elections show a dead-even gubernatorial race and Republicans leading Democrats by one percentage point in the generic General Assembly ballot.
5. Treating a Sexual Assault Victim’s Father Worse Than the Perpetrator?
Buta Biberaj won over Loudoun County voters in 2019 on the promise of changing the criminal justice system. Among other proposals, Biberaj has advocated for easing mass incarceration and ending cash bail. The Bronx-raised attorney ostensibly wants to make the justice system fairer and more equitable.
Yet Biberaj’s campaign platitudes didn’t stop her from aggressively prosecuting Loudoun County parent Scott Smith.
As the county’s top prosecutor, Biberaj knew intimate details about a sexual assault case involving Smith’s daughter at Stone Bridge High School. She must have understood why Smith, who attended a Loudoun County School Board meeting on June 22 looking for answers, would’ve gotten upset after the district superintendent said the student suspected in his daughter’s assault didn’t exist. And yet, she appeared in court personally to push for jail time, a fine and anger management classes, even though Smith faced two misdemeanors. Smith’s attorney called Biberaj’s actions “unheard of.” Moreover, Smith’s charges conflicted sharply with the initial punishment given to the teenage boy later convicted of two counts of forcible sodomy against his daughter. Only after allegedly committing another sexual assault at a different school did authorities remand the boy to juvenile detention.
Biberaj has defended herself repeatedly, saying of the boy who viciously attacked Smith’s daughter, “He appeared to be a good candidate to be put on electronic monitoring based on the information that was provided.”
6. Rioters Go Unpunished
The protests throughout the summer of 2020 prominently turned violent, with predictably disastrous results. In St. Louis, rioters shot at police officers and assaulted firefighters attempting to put out fires on a night that 55 buildings downtown suffered looting or damage. David Dorn, a retired St. Louis police captain, guarded one of those businesses before being shot and killed around 2:30 am. While Dorn’s family told the press that the 77-year-old was committed to helping young people and would have personally forgiven whomever killed him, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner dismissed all charges against 36 people arrested for the violence.
Gardner did choose to prosecute Mark and Patricia McCloskey for brandishing weapons when protesters stormed their private street and allegedly made threatening remarks. Back in June, the McCloskeys pled guilty to misdemeanor offensives. Per the agreement, the McCloskeys had to surrender the two guns used in the incident to the authorities.
7. Larry Krasner’s Vulgar Election Night Rally
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner got a robust $1.7 million from Soros-funded groups. Krasner’s prior work against the Philadelphia Police Department on behalf of left-wing groups rose alarm bells early in his campaign. However, warnings by law enforcement entities and their allies went unheeded. At Krasner’s victory party on election night, his supporters allegedly chanted “f*ck the police” and “no good cops in a racist system.”
Since then, D.A. Krasner has dropped charges in over 60% of shooting cases. Eventually, the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania legislature and Democratic governor came together to limit Krasner’s power to prosecute certain violations, giving it to the state’s attorney general.
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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard.