Kamala Harris: An Anti-Criminal Justice Supporter

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Kamala Harris: An Anti-Criminal Justice Supporter

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Harris is a self-styled progressive — a fantasy one in name only. Her prosecutorial/political history is pockmarked with serving privileged interests and her own exclusively at the expense of due process and equal justice under law.

A July Harris poll (no connection to the candidate) has her trailing Biden and Sanders by a wide margin, scoring around even with Warren, other Dem presidential aspirants with scant support.

Most other polls are similar. Though early in the race, establishment figure Biden is the favorite to be Dem nominee — a longtime champion of privilege in Congress and as vice president, abhorrent of peace, equity and justice.

Harris and most other aspirants are much the same, nary a true blue people’s aspirant seeking the nation’s highest office in either right wing of the nation’s war party — Tulsi Gabbard the only one with redeeming qualities on many but by no means all issues.

Time and again, candidates elevated to the nation’s highest office and key congressional leadership positions are pro-war, pro-Wall Street, pro-corporatism over the general welfare, anti-labor and anti-consumer. 

As Alameda County, CA assistant district attorney, San Francisco district attorney, and California state attorney general, Harris pursued injustice by blocking exculpatory evidence, defending unconstitutional practices, and preventing prosecution of wealthy individuals.

Her record belies her claim to be a judicial reformer, just the opposite.

In May 2010, Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo slammed her for failing “to produce information in her possession regarding” a dubious witness for the prosecution, calling her action “a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights,” adding:

Repeated court requests to comply with proper procedures were met with “a level of indifference.”

At the time, public defender Jeff Adachi said Massullo’s criticism “really hits the ball out of the park by setting forth multiple failures by district attorney (Harris) to disclose evidence.”

She used dubious witnesses and fabricated evidence for convictions to further her political ambitions.

Addressing supporters earlier, she falsely said “(m)y whole life, I’ve only had one client: the people… fighting for a more fair criminal justice system.”

Using high-profile prosecutorial dirty tricks, she advanced to the US Senate, aiming to go higher.

According to PolitiFact, as California attorney general in 2016, “she opposed a bill to require her office to investigate shootings by police, and she declined to weigh in on state ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana and to reduce penalties for nonviolent crimes.”

Despite her rhetorical opposition to capital punishment, she “defended it in court as attorney general.”

According to Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent in Los Angeles/Law Professor Lara Bazelon, “(t)ime after time, when progressives urged (Harris) to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then the state’s attorney general, (she) opposed them or stayed silent.”

“Kamala Harris was not a ‘progressive prosecutor. (She) was often on the wrong side of history when she served as California’s attorney general.”

“Most troubling, Ms. Harris fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors.”

She “also championed state legislation under which parents whose children were found to be habitually truant in elementary school could be prosecuted, despite concerns that it would disproportionately affect low-income people of color.”

Responding to a 2014 Orange County judicial ruling against the death penalty as unconstitutional, she bizarrely argued that the decision “undermines important protections that our courts provide to defendants.”

Also in 2014, she opposed voter-approved Proposition 47, reducing certain low-level felonies to misdemeanors — by staying silent on the issue instead of championing it.

In 2015, she opposed legislation requiring her office to investigate shootings by police and declined to support having them wear body-cameras.

Instead of seeking justice, time and again she obstructed it as a way to burnish her prosecutorial record for advancement to higher office.

Law Professor Marjorie Cohn criticized her “distinguished career of serving injustice,” adding: Her “prosecutorial record…is far from progressive.” 

“Through her apologia for egregious prosecutorial misconduct, her refusal to allow DNA testing for a probably innocent death row inmate, her opposition to legislation requiring the attorney general’s office to independently investigate police shootings and more, she has made a significant contribution to the sordid history of injustice she decries.”

“The job of the attorney general is not to protect the DA. As chief law enforcement officer of the state, the attorney general’s duty is ‘to see that the laws of the State are uniformly and adequately enforced,’ as mandated by Article V of the California Constitution.”

Time and again, “Harris violated her legal duty,” violating the constitutional rights of defendants.

In the US, equal justice under law is a meaningless figure of speech. The system is politicized against the poor, people of color, Muslims and others disadvantaged.

The US gulag prison system is by far the world’s largest, including thousands incarcerated for political reasons. A covert global network of torture prisons supplements it.

Presidents and key congressional members are chosen to assure continuity. 

No matter who succeeds Trump in 2021 or 2025, dirty business as usual will continue like always. It’s the American way.

A Final Comment

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website scrubbed disturbing information from Harris’ “tough on crime” prosecutorial record as attorney general.

As a presidential aspirant, she’s gone all out to shed the image she cultivated in her earlier capacity.

During last week’s Dem presidential “debate,” Tulsi Gabbard ripped Kamala Harris’ disturbing prosecutorial record, saying the following:

“(W)hen you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people’s lives, you did not and worse yet in the case of those who are on death row, innocent people, you actually blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed them until you were forced to do so.”

“There’s no excuse for that and the people who suffered under your reign as prosecutor. You owe them an apology.”

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

 

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.