Throughout her campaign for the White House, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has continually faced criticism for her record as a California prosecutor — and for good reason.
The Washington Examiner‘s Alana Goodman outlined on Sunday five separate times when Kamala Harris sent the wrong guy to jail.
The first instance to make the top five list occurred in 2010 when Kamala Harris, then the district attorney of San Francisco, successfully prosecuted a 29-year-old reality star named Jamal Trulove for murder, putting him behind bars for 50 years. The only problem: he didn’t do it.
The case was overturned after it was discovered that the sole witness on whom the prosecution rested its case — whom Harris referred to as a “brave eyewitness” — was given $60,000 and new housing under the witness protection program by none other than Harris’ prosecutorial team.
The next incident occurred just recently, in 2015, when Harris was attorney general of California. She and her team tried to uphold the conviction of George Gage for sexual assault by withholding exculpatory evidence.
Gage remains in prison on a technicality exploited by Harris and her team, according to Goodman.
More problems for Kamala
No. 3 on Goodman’s list took place in 2002, when Harris, again as attorney general of California, fought hard to deny a man named Rafael Madrigal of compensation for being wrongly convicted of murder. Harris’ argument: that he failed to prove his innocence.
And as San Francisco’s district attorney in 2010, Harris attempted to retry a man who was convicted of murder with the help of a witness who was — once again — paid and placed in a witness protection program by a detective. Although she tried, Harris never did get to retry Caramad Conley.
Finally, in 2010, Harris managed to block the release of an alleged neo-Nazi gang member who was convicted of being in possession of a concealed weapon. She did so despite the fact that no less than nine eyewitnesses — including a North Carolina cop — came forward to deny that the individual, Daniel Larsen, was indeed the guy with the weapon.
Not only that, but after Larsen was finally let out of prison, Harris filed an appeal to try to get him back in jail, arguing that he missed a paperwork deadline.
Harris’ ruthlessness as a prosecutor, even going so far as to try to put people behind bars for technicalities, is not that big of a surprise. For many prosecutors, especially ones like Harris, it is all about the win percentage, and such individuals stop at nothing to pad their records.
The change of heart, too, is not that surprising. Now as a Democratic politician, she represents a party who wouldn’t mind seeing many prisoners released and who would prefer a more lenient criminal justice system. The question now is whether Harris’ past will matter to voters.