OAKLAND, Calif. — For more than a decade, the district attorney for Alameda County, where this city is the center of gravity, prosecuted crime the old-fashioned way, with stiff sentences and the reliable support of law-enforcement unions at election time.

That changed sharply in November.

Nancy O’Malley, the incumbent, declined to seek reelection amid the strengthening national push to reexamine who is punished and for how long. In her place, voters chose Pamela Price, a civil rights lawyer, who four years and a pandemic earlier had lost her challenge to O’Malley.

Now, a woman who made a living taking on the local justice system is running it. “They elected me with a mandate,” Price, the first Black woman to serve as Oakland district attorney, said in an interview. “And, to me, the right prosecutor for the moment is one who is not wedded to the status quo.”

Full Article