Kamala Harris’s Offices Fought Payments to Wrongly Convicted

by | Oct 15, 2019

Kamala Harris is a monster.

[Innocent convict] Diaz’s battle with Harris’ office began in 2012 when a judge reversed his conviction. As state attorney general, her staff vigorously resisted his claim for compensation and tried to make him re-register as a sex offender, despite a formal ruling in April 2013 that he was innocent.

The Diaz case is one of a series of battles Harris’ prosecutors waged — in both the offices of San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general — to resist innocence claims, often using technical timeliness or jurisdictional arguments, lawyers and innocence advocates say.

“The goal is justice,” said Gerald Schwartzbach, Diaz’s lawyer. “The goal isn’t just rules, regulations and procedures. They penalized an innocent man with technical arguments. To me that’s fundamentally contradictory to the whole purpose of the criminal justice system. …

The California attorney general’s office under Harris resisted the innocence claim of Daniel Larsen by arguing that he hadn’t filed his petition for release in a timely fashion, and also contested his request for compensation after he was exonerated. Larsen had been sentenced to 27-years-to-life for possession of a knife under California’s “three-strikes” law.” 

About Scott Horton

Scott Horton is director of the Libertarian Institute, editorial director of Antiwar.com, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from ScottHorton.org. He's the author of the 2021 book Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism, the 2017 book, Fool's Errand:Time to End the War in Afghanistan, editor of the 2019 book The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019 and the 2022 book Hotter Than The Sun: Time to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. He’s conducted more than 5,800 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Larisa Alexandrovna Horton.

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