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What Was a San Francisco Judge Thinking Deciding Attempted Murderer’s Sentence?

By Steve Pomper 

San Francisco, California (Photo: Frank Schulenburg, Wiki Creative Commons)

In today’s politically corrupt version of the United States criminal justice system, the government can fabricate a make-believe offense, declare an American “guilty,” fine him nearly half a billion dollars, and then prevent him from appealing unless he essentially pays the entire fine upfront (Eighth Amendment?).

Apparently, the government can also weaponize the legal system and impose on an American an absurdly high sentence of over two decades in federal prison for “participating” in the “wrong” political protest—even if he wasn’t there. The prosecution had asked for 33 years.

On the other hand, politicized courts are handing out absurdly low sentences for truly heinous, violent crimes.

This story will underscore how prevalent this disparity in sentencing is depending upon who the defendant, prosecutor, or judge is.

First, guess in what city a judge just handed down an absurdly low sentence for a man convicted of an exceptionally brutal crime? He stabbed a random 94-year-old woman multiple times. Don’t strain yourself; the answer is easy.

Yes, San Francisco. Voters sacked their cop-hating, Marxist DA, Chesa Boudin, who initially handled this case. But it appears SF’s criminal justice system is still infected with woke (though, to be fair, even Boudin had publicly said this suspect should be off the streets).

Still, in cities like SF, it seems even when prosecutors are willing to do the job correctly, as Boudin’s replacement DA Brooke Jenkins appears to be doing, flaccid judges shrivel when choosing whether to protect a violent defendant or the public.

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Let’s go back to 2021, to a quiet June day in the City by the Bay. Anh “Peng” Taylor is strolling along a sidewalk remarkably well on her nearly century-old legs. She’s near her home in San Fran’s Lower Nob Hill neighborhood, where she feels safe. Even at this advanced age, her family says Peng still cooks, cleans, and cares for herself.

In a YouTube video provided by NBC Bay Area, Peng walks gingerly but steadily along on the sidewalk. Suddenly, an assailant, identified as Daniel Cauich, shatters her sense of safety in five brutal seconds.

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The video shows, Cauich is about to walk by her, but, instead, he diverts and lunges at Peng, repeatedly stabbing her, as her knees buckle, and she collapses against a wall in horror. Cauich then callously, casually saunters away.

Medics transported Peng to the hospital where she was treated for three stab wounds. Jean Elle of NBC Bay Area reported, Peng’s niece said her beloved aunt suffered serious wounds to her “abdomen, hip, and all the way through her left wrist.”

According to Han Li at the San Francisco Standard, Police “located and arrested Cauich a few hours later.” He was “charged with attempted murder, elder abuse and assault….” Charges that everybody in the criminal justice system once took seriously.

DA Jenkins described that “Taylor fell ‘in pain, fear and disbelief’ after the attack….”

Cauich is primarily responsible for his crime, of course. But if he is as whacko as his defense attorneys say (claiming when they told “him what he had done, the man cried.”) and as violent as his criminal history shows, doesn’t San Francisco Superior Court Judge Kay Tsenin bear some responsibility for Cauich’s next potential victim(s)?

As Peng lay in a hospital bed, Cauich’s nefarious criminal history and a toxic criminal justice system that betrayed San Franciscans’ public safety began to unfold. Upon his arrest, SFPD officers found a poignant clue there was more to this story.

Police found an ankle monitor near where they arrested Cauich. A judge ordered the monitor before releasing him on burglary charges only nine days before he savagely attacked Peng. But it gets worse.

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Law Enforcement Today’s Sarah Akey reported on Cauich’s criminal background. “According to the San Fransisco Chronicle, Cauich was arrested in 2016 on a murder charge following a Mission District stabbing. In 2019, a judge dismissed the charges for lack of evidence.”

Akey also noted that Judge Tsenin is well known for her “easygoing” courtroom manner and her going easy on defendants. Apparently, regardless of how vicious the crime or heinous his criminal background.

Did Judge Tsenin ever pause to truly reflect on how Peng felt as that metal blade penetrated into her belly, and then plunged into her hip, and then impaled her wrist? Or did she focus her sympathy/empathy entirely on the “trauma” the defendant’s attorneys claim Cauich has supposedly suffered?

“San Fransisco residents cannot,” as Akey put it, “afford a judge with a soft edge towards violent criminals.” Soft edge? A Nerf edge!

Lady Justice is blindfolded, but Judge Tsenin seems to be the one wearing a blindfold, unable to find justice for Peng. Prosecutors had asked for 12 years in prison, saying Cauich “is a danger to the community.” Instead, she gave him only five years, but not in prison, on probation. For the savage attempted murder of a lovely 94-year-old woman.

Li wrote, “DA Jenkins posted on social media, ‘Every day our prosecutors go into court + fight for justice & public safety. Yet, almost daily, they are met with/ staunch resistance within the courthouse. Not only was this victim denied justice, but all San Franciscans were left less safe today due to this reckless decision.’”

Also, reported by Li, “‘[The stabbing] was senseless and horrifying,’ Assistant District Attorney Phoebe Maffei wrote in a document protesting the sentence, ‘and suggests a quick willingness to do harm to vulnerable people within our community.’”

Li also wrote, Judge Tsenin, “with a reputation for leniency, sentenced Cauich to probation, not prison, but don’t worry, she says he’ll be in a ‘strict behavioral and mental health treatment program…’ under ‘intensive supervision… with limited freedom….’” Well, I feel better; don’t you?

Oh, about those burglary charges for which Cauich was wearing the ankle jewelry, Judge Tsenin rolled them into this case under the same sentence—Poof! Gone. Oh, there’s that warm and fuzzy, again.

Judge Tsenin told Gauich, “I am giving you one last chance to stay out of state prison.”

So, he goes to prison if he does something worse? What, like stab a 95-year-old woman four times?

This judge wouldn’t know a defendant’s one last chance if it lunged at her on a San Francisco sidewalk on Lower Nob Hill and smacked her upside her head with her own gavel.

Oh, but the judge assured the public that if he violates his probation, it’s off to the hoosegow for him—for sureno, really—I mean it this time.

Translation of Judge Tsenin’s “warning”: I am giving you [Gauich] one more chance to victimize the public?

And that likely future victim is out there and as unaware as Peng was, peacefully living a life that will, in an instant, violently change or end. Maybe your loved one.

Li reported that Peng is now 97, and her family says she is “well-recovered and doing fine.” She is a remarkable woman for whom the various judges handling Cauich’s cases have let down. They created the circumstances that allowed this horror to happen to Peng, and they’re also allowing it to happen to future victims. I guess those judges have found a way to live with what they’ve done—though future victims may not be so lucky.

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