by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Catholic News Agency recently quoted several prominent Catholics who were positive about Joe Biden’s vice-presidential selection of Kamala Harris. Donna Toliver Grimes, for example, who serves as the assistant director for African American Affairs in the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressed her belief that a Biden-Harris ticket would have a “policy that is favorable to people on the margins.”
That’s a curious comment, because Harris has spent considerable professional energy oppressing the poor and marginalized. …
… One of the most obvious injustices toward the poor in America is the cash bail system. Wealthy people can often afford cash bail and therefore walk free before trial. Poor people often cannot afford bail and therefore must sit behind bars for hours or days before their trials (or plea bargains).
To address this inequity, one might seek the elimination of cash bail or at least a lowering of the expense. Instead, as San Francisco district attorney, Harris pleaded to raise bail costs — using the logic that criminals were traveling to San Francisco to commit crime in a place they knew bail was low. As California attorney general, Harris again argued in favor of cash bail.
Harris has recently come out in favor of bail reform, but this new stance contradicts many years of her actual record as DA and AG. Noting Harris’ record, Harvard Law grad and civil rights attorney Alec Karakatsanis points out, “For her entire career, she used some of the highest money bail amounts in the country to keep people in jail cells and saddle poor families with financial debt.”
It has been well-documented that some people were wrongfully convicted during Harris’s tenure and could have been exonerated after their convictions, but Harris stood in the way.