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The Case Against Kamala

W. Scott Cole

Posted on September 20, 2019 00:54

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I have no problem with the thought that a woman could be elected to our highest office. The right one could certainly do better than some of the men who have been president in the last 240+ years. Looking at the current crop of hopefuls through the lens of criminal justice reform doesn’t give me much hope for any of them, however, and Kamala Harris may be the worst of the bunch in that regard.

Kamala Harris spent 28 years as a county prosecutor, a district attorney, and the Attorney General of California. It is the job of a prosecutor to prosecute crimes, which she did; but, even more importantly, it is the job of all attorneys, prosecution and defense, to seek the truth. Ms. Harris wasn’t as good at that, as it turns out.

She runs for the presidency with criminal justice reform being a large part of her platform, claiming she was a progressive, reform-minded prosecutor. For the most part, she seems to fail there, too, but like a true politician, she is adept at explaining away her failings, calling them “distortions” when questioned about them.

To be fair, she did champion some reform. She had a working diversion plan for people arrested for drugs to get them into a treatment program, pushed body cameras for police, and for police training on racial bias. However, that is more than outweighed by the other side of the coin.

She was basically a cop involved with politics. In public, she gave speeches about racial justice and liberal values, which helped her climb the ranks in the Democratic party, getting her to where she is today.

If her public persona was Dr. Jekyll, behind closed doors, Hyde came out. She fought for political power and police prerogatives, as I think most prosecutors do, but it didn’t stop there. She also fought hard for harsher sentences, larger bail requirements, and longer prison sentences for those convicted of crimes.

She pushed for more aggressive prosecution of crimes, but not just violent crimes. Her agenda included petty crimes and misdemeanors. She lobbied for more criminal justice involvement (read more police and more arrests) in low income and minority communities, less due process for people in the system, less transparency for police and less accountability for bad cops.

She refuses to explain why her office defended blatant, intentional prosecutorial misconduct and why her office, in 2015, appealed the removal of the entire Orange County District Attorney’s Office from a high profile death penalty case after a report revealed an unconstitutional jailhouse snitch program that sheriff’s department was running. The program tainted more than a dozen cases, including several murder trials.

Also in 2015, she appealed the dismissal of a child molestation case after a prosecutor falsified a transcript to include a confession that never happened.

Going back a little further, when she was the District Attorney in San Francisco, a judge came down on her hard for not notifying defense lawyers of known misconduct of a drug lab technician that led police to shut down a section of the lab.

In spite of that and her reputation as a Drug Warrior and draconian prosecutor, she still claims to have been a progressive prosecutor.

After reviewing her record as a prosecutor and as Attorney General of the State of California, Kamala Harris raises serious doubts about the future of criminal justice reform if she were to be elected President.

W. Scott Cole

Posted on September 20, 2019 00:54

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Source: Reuters
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