Kamala Harris defends her record: ‘I’ve been consistent’

Kamala Harris, the junior US senator from California, is running for president — and she’s getting out ahead of questions about her prosecutorial past.

Harris kicked off her campaign with a rally in Oakland over the weekend, and on Monday she appeared at a town hall in Iowa hosted by CNN.

At the town hall, in addition to endorsing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “green new deal,” and calling for Medicare for all, she was asked about her record on criminal justice.

Before being elected to the Senate in 2016 where she has positioned herself as a progressive lawmaker, Harris served as California’s attorney general and as district attorney in San Francisco before that. Her past as the “top cop,” where she made decisions that may undercut her progressive credentials, is under scrutiny.

Harris was given a chance to address questions about criminal justice and her prosecutorial record on Monday night.

Audience member Riley Fink, a senior at Drake University, asked about her record, which he characterized as embracing a “tough-on-crime mentality,” citing upholding the death penalty and opposing the release of low-level offenders.

“I’ve been consistent my whole career,” Harris replied. “My career has been based on an understanding, one, that as a prosecutor, my duty was to seek and make sure that the most vulnerable and voiceless among us are protected, and that is why I have personally prosecuted violent crime that includes rape, child molestation, and homicide.”

“And I have also worked my whole career to reform the criminal justice system, understanding, to your point, that it is deeply flawed,” she continued.

Some issues that progressives may wish she had addressed include:

  • Despite being personally against the death penalty, and making waves in 2004 for declining to call for the death penalty in a case where a police officer was fatally shot, as attorney general, Harris said she would uphold capital punishment. In 2014, she appealed a judge’s ruling against the death penalty.
  • She is also facing criticism for how she handled police-brutality and misconduct cases.

Harris oversaw reforms including:

  • “Back on Track” in 2005 as district attorney, which diverted those who were nonviolent first-time offenders — including those facing drug charges — to job training and a high school diploma.
  • As attorney general, she implemented a “first-of-its-kind” racial bias training and made criminal justice data, including deaths that occurred while in custody, public with OpenJustice.
  • And under Harris, the California Department of Justice became the first statewide agency to use police body cameras, the Sacramento Bee reported.

As a senator, she’s favored criminal justice reforms, including the introduction of legislation on bail reform and signing onto a bill that would remove marijuana from the federal scheduling system, where it is currently listed as a schedule 1 drug along with heroin.

“I will also say that there is so much more work to do,” Harris said, responding to moderator Jake Tapper on Monday night.

“And do I wish I could have done more? Absolutely, I do wish I could have done more.”

Source link

more recommended stories

  • ‘El Chapo’ lawyers may challenge conviction over juror remarks

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Mexican drug.

  • How PEZ Is Made – Business Insider

    Following is a transcript of the.

  • A worker was killed by an exploding tire at John Wayne Airport, SNA

    A worker at John Wayne Airport.

  • FBI had backup plan to preserve Russia investigation evidence: report

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI developed.

  • If he wins, Bernie Sanders would be the oldest president in US history

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reacts during.

  • Trump urges Venezuela’s military to back Juan Guaido

    President Donald Trump urged Venezuelan military.

  • Facebook acts like ‘digital gangsters,’ says Damian Collins committee

    British lawmakers have accused Facebook of.

  • Four people died in a 12-hour hostage standoff in Mississippi

    Law enforcement officials confirmed four people.

  • Migrant caravan members giving up on trying to enter US amid new policies

    Over 2,000 members of the migrant.

  • Charles Barkley tried to get Dirk Nowitzki to Auburn in hilarious story

    The first time Dirk Nowitzki met.

  • Why Conservative MPs now believe Theresa May’s Brexit deal will pass

    LONDON — When Theresa May’s Brexit.

  • Movies you should watch on Netflix this weekend

    There’s so much content coming and.

  • Umami Burger’s Impossible patty recipe is leads the meatless revolution

    Veggie burgers are not typically regarded.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom answers Trump tweet on high-speed rail

    California’s newly sworn-in Gov. Gavin Newsom.

  • Theresa May set for another Commons defeat as Brexiteers threaten to reject her Brexit plans

    LONDON — Theresa May faces a.

  • One of Wall Street’s biggest banks just revealed a massive stake in Twitter — and the company’s stock is soaring (TWTR)

    Richard Drew/AP Morgan Stanley said in.

  • Mackenna Kelly is making $1,000 a day making ASMR videos

    ASMR, short for autonomous sensory meridian.

  • Key chart for the global economy, according to Capital Economics

    The global economy is at something.

  • The real purpose of Russia’s ‘Poseidon’ nuclear doomsday device

    Ever since 2015 when images of.

  • Martin Scorsese’s Netflix movie ‘The Irishman’ de-aging explained

    Ever since Martin Scorsese and Robert.

  • 2019 Grammys best celebrity outfits

    On Sunday, the music industry’s biggest.

  • Theresa May will plea with MPs to buy more time to renegotiate Brexit deal

    LONDON — Theresa May will plead.

  • How a call to abolish billionaires made its way into the mainstream

    For the first time on a.

  • Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens slammed over Hitler comments

    Candace Owens, a top figure in.

  • Democrats are calling on Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to resign

    Lawmakers — including several Democratic presidential.

  • Stock market news: Trump trade war uncertainty send markets lower

    President Trump’s suggestion that he won’t.

  • Cybersecurity startup Illumio raises $65 million, hires CFO Anup Singh

    Cybersecurity startup Illumio just raised a.

  • Pressure is mounting on Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to resign

    Pressure is mounting on Virginia Lt..

  • Facebook to award employee bonuses for ‘social good’

    Facebook is coming up with ways.

  • Kate Middleton brought a family photo to a school’s show-and-tell

    The Duchess of Cambridge today showed.

  • Howard Schultz wants to run for president in 2020. Why?

    For years rumors of presidential ambitions.

  • Anthony Davis trade request throwing off Celtics trade, free-agency plans

    Anthony Davis’ trade request from the.