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Vice President Kamala Harris has changed throughout her career, from supporting the program as a law enforcement officer in California to calling for extensive reforms to the system as a US senator, presidential candidate and now vice president.
39-year-old Darrell Brooks Jr., the subject of cash bail policies, came to notice this week after plowing into a group of innocent people attending a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six people, including an 8-year-old boy, and tens of thousands more injured.
Wakeesha Parade frightened by left-wing district attorney’s bail reform efforts, critics say
Brooks has had an extensive criminal history since 1999, including numerous crimes. A convicted sex offender, Brooks was granted bail twice this year in Wisconsin – despite having an active warrant for bail in a Nevada sex offense charge.
Earlier this month, Milwaukee prosecutors sought a $ 1,000 bail for Brooks, who was arrested for allegedly punching his girlfriend in the face and then driving her with her car in a gas station parking lot. Prosecutors now admit bail is “unduly low”.
Brooks’ criminal history ranges from multiple firearms and battery offenses and strangulation to a 50-page rap sheet spanning three states, to sex crimes and drug charges.
But critics are slamming criminal bail reform efforts that push violent criminals like Brooks to the streets at little or no cost, warning that the system is endangering communities across the country.
Harris spent seven years as a District Attorney for San Francisco and six years as a California Attorney General – the first black woman to hold that position.
And while her stance on the matter has evolved from a strict stance to supporting a cash bail revocation, Harris supported bail when she was a prosecutor and called for higher bail amounts on gun-related charges. Harris’s office also defended the cash bail system.
Bail money is essentially collateral to ensure a person appears for future court dates. If a person pays bail, then attends their court dates, that money will be refunded.
Prior to joining the Senate, Harris filed a motion challenging the application of California’s cash bail laws, saying the system deserved “serious scrutiny.” Still, she asked the judge to toss the case, even though state laws were constitutional in the way some counties used the law.
“The bail system here does not explicitly deny bail to any group of individuals,” he wrote.
But as a senator, Harris’s position has changed – critics have claimed that it is favorable for political purposes because he calls himself a progressive legislator.
Harris, during his time in the Senate and the 2020 campaign, called for the repeal of the cash bail. He argues that cash bail has an unbalanced effect on low-income accused.
As a senator, in July 2017, Harris was the GOP sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Joined in to introduce legislation to force changes or the replacement of the cash bail system.
“Excessive bail disproportionately harms people of low-income communities and communities of color,” Harris and Paul wrote in Op-Ed. New York Times At the time. “The accused should be granted bail to attend trial and not commit other offenses in the meantime.”
The bill is set to empower states to decide whether a defendant should be “an airplane danger or a threat to the public and without bail.”
“Instead of mandating a one-size-fits-all approach by the federal government, the bill provides direct judicial grants to the states so that everyone can devise and administer the most effective policies according to its unique needs,” he wrote. The bill adds that “states will be held accountable.”
And in February 2019, Harris again stepped in to announce a nationwide bail reform, saying that it was “past time” to do so.
“Many times, poor people sit in jail because they don’t have the money to pay bail. Anyone with the same crime but the money in their back pocket comes out,” Harris tweeted at the time. “This is a serious injustice.”
President Biden’s campaign was in favor of ending the cash bail on the grounds that it was discriminatory against those who did not have the financial means to pay their bail.
The 2020 Biden Campaign states on its website that “cash bail is a modern borrower’s prison.” Biden spearheads a national effort to end cash bail and improve our preconditioning system, but does not add further discrimination or bias in the process by enforcing fairness and system. “
Biden has released a ‘gender equity’ plan calling for the removal of cash bail
Last month, the White House released a 42-page report titled “National Strategy for Gender Equality and Equality,” which called for work to “end cash bail and improve our pre-trial system.”
The White House has said the elimination of cash bail is one step governments can take to address gender and race inequalities.
FBI data shows an unprecedented rise in violent crime, with calls for an end to cash bail, with the number of murders in the US rising by nearly 30% in 2020 – representing the largest single-year increase recorded since the FBI began tracking statistics.
The overall violent crime rate, which includes assault, robbery and rape, is up 5% in 2020 compared to 2019.
Waukesha Christmas Horror: Milwaukee Dr. Publishes Internal Review of Darrell Brooks Bail Recommendation
Biden and Harris’s letter, which was included in the report last month, argues that reforms are needed to promote equality, saying that America “is not fully alive” to the idea that “each of us is dignified and worthy of treatment.” Equally. ”
“This strategy outlines an ambitious agenda for this administration and for the coming – a roadmap to help our nation close the gaping gender gap and lead us towards a world where all people have equal opportunity,” the letter reads. “It is not just a moral requirement to ensure that all people, regardless of gender identity or other factors, have the opportunity to live up to their full potential. This is a strategic imperative.”
The White House or the Vice President’s Office did not immediately respond to LBL’ comment.
LBL’s Michael Ruiz, Michael Lee, Tyler Olson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.