Kamala Harris: A Contradiction

By Kosta Magoulas

Editorials Editor

Promo image showing Kamala Harris

Image Source: bbc.com

Throughout Kamala Harris’s career in government, it has seemed like she has contradicted herself many times. Whether it be who she supported or what she supported, Harris did things that went against previous things she had advocated for. Now, Harris is going to be the Vice President Elect, so what beliefs she has now and what her beliefs were previously should be looked at in order to get a better understanding of how she may act when in office. 

Kamala Devi Harris was born October 20, 1964, in Oakland, California. Harris studied Political Science and economics in 1986 from Howard College, and in 1989, earned a law degree from Hastings College. In 1990 – 1998 in Oakland, she worked as a deputy district attorney. She then later became district attorney in 2004. In 2010 she earned the title of attorney general in the state of California. From these facts alone, it is evident that Harris has achieved some very great feats. 

There have been many things Harris has said that have contradicted previous beliefs. Firstly, the contradiction regarding the death penalty:

In 2004, Harris came to odds with the San Francisco Police Department after a 22 year-old gang member named David Hill shot and killed one duty officer, Issac Espinoza. The San Francisco Police officers were outraged and called for the death penalty. Harris held a meeting announcing that they would not be seeking the death penalty for Hill. Harris had previously told the public during her campaign that she was going to stand her ground and never go back on her word, and in this case, she really meant it. 

ABC News reported that in 1983, however, a man named Kevin Cooper was sentenced to the killing of a married couple, their young daughter, and a boy who was sleeping over at their house that night. The son of the couple survived after suffering from slashings to the neck. The boy claimed to have seen three men that night, but the evidence was stacked still against Cooper alone. Later, the victim testified against Cooper. During the lengthy trials of court, Cooper’s attorney claimed that the evidence against him had been tampered with and therefore false.

 In 2004, Cooper’s lawyers filed an appeal for his execution. In 2009, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Cooper’s appeal 2-1. Cooper’s attorney motioned for it to be reheard which was then denied. There was advanced forensic testing around 2016 that could have been used to help fully ensure if Cooper was or was not the killer, but was also shot down. In the end, where was Kamala Harris in all of this? 

Another case of her opinion on the death penalty was called into play when the case involved a man named Ernest Dewayne Jones, who had been convicted of raping and stabbing his girlfriend’s mother in Los Angeles in 1995. 

ABC News reported here saying that the U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney believed that Jones did not deserve the death penalty, and so stated that parts of Jones’ trial was found unconstituional. Harris, who was the State’s attorney general, appealed this decision and stated that there was nothing wrong with the decisions made. 

Even if the decision was not unconstitutional, Harris had said many times that she had not supported the death penalty at all, but with this, there seems to be some sort of retraction in regards to her honest claim of belief.

Shootings in California have remained very high in the last decade and Harris’ views have remained blurry. 

In Anaheim in July 2012, 25-year-old Manuel Diaz was shot in the back by police. Diaz was unarmed. Outrage came pouring and hundreds of people showed up the next day to protest. Tom Tait, Anaheim’s mayor at the time, told The New York Times that he called Kamala Harris for an outside investigation on the matter. She, in the end, refused. 

Another case was on August 11, 2014 when Los Angeles Police Officers shot Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old unarmed Black man who had a history with mental illness. Harris adjourned and allowed for Jackie Lacey, the district attorney, to go through and bring no charges to the matter.

From the conclusion of the evidence above, Kamala Harris has a lot of the time said one thing, but has done the opposite. She recently said during the presidential race with Joe Biden, as reported by NBC:

“The reality is that the life of a Black person in America has never been treated as fully human. And we have yet to fulfill that promise of equal justice under the law,” Harris said. “We will only achieve that when we finally come together to pass meaningful police reform and broader criminal justice reform and acknowledge, yes, acknowledge, systemic racism.”  

Although everyone has times when their views may conflict with their actions, Harris has quite too many to count. And now that she is the Vice Presidential Elect, there will be more evidence to bolster these claims in no time.

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