Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is in trouble with black voters because of her record as California attorney general was ostensibly too tough on criminals. To placate the radical activists, Harris has proposed a startlingly lenient reform program that includes eliminating the death penalty, getting rid of cash bail, eliminating minimum sentences, and closing private prisons.
If criminals had a reform wish list, all of those proposals would be on it.
As president, Harris said, she would move to end the death penalty for federal crimes, get rid of the cash bail system, remove mandatory minimum sentences, close private prisons and help former inmates reintegrate into their communities.
Harris has already discussed most of the proposals in the plan before. But consolidating them into one progressive laundry list is a rejoinder to critics on the left who have attacked her history as San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general.
Harris also weathered broadsides during the last presidential debate from former Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard over her prosecutorial record on issues like marijuana and death row appeals. Harris will be back in the spotlight at the next debate on Thursday, and could face additional questions about her record.
So the proposed reforms are a political gimmick — a preemptive strike to establish her bona fides as a far left radical? We better hope that’s all it is and she’s not serious about proposals like this:
The top proposal would be “ending the war on drugs” and decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level. Her plan would reform the presidential clemency power, creating a more streamlined review unit to help inmates who’ve been in federal prison decades get out sooner.
She’d also work to “end juvenile incarceration in favor of restorative justice programs and wrap-around services,” except for the most serious crimes, the plan says.
Nobody loves the prison system for adults or children. But until there’s a Star Trek-like mind altering procedure to make anti-social people more social, there must be a barrier between those who would harm us and the rest of us.
There may be room for reform for non-violent criminals — that is, those without a history of committing violent crimes against persons and property. But there should be a difference if you pick up a gang banger on a littering charge, and a kid getting caught toking in his car. Designating a crime as “non-violent” should not give the perpetrator a free pass.
That kind of nuance is missing from all the Democratic presidential candidates proposals. Among them, it’s a race to see who can be the most lenient on criminals. Needless to say, the idea that the streets of America would become more dangerous is seen by these candidates as a small price to pay for “compassion.”