Moms Demand Action: The Tragic Story of Donald Maiden Jr.: An American Tale of Gun Violence


 

By Jueseppi B.

482621_346043282180265_183074516_n-1

 

The Tragic Story of Donald Maiden Jr.: An American Tale of Gun Violence

 

By Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America via Huffington Post

 

Donald-Maiden-Jr.-320x196

 

 

On Sept. 3, just a few days after Donald Maiden Jr.’s 8th birthday, he was playing tag outside his apartment building when a 46-year-old stranger walked up and shot him in the face. When police asked accused Brian Cloninger, who is white, why he shot Donald, who is black, he said, “Because I wanted to.”

 

At the time of the shooting, Cloninger was serving a 15-month probationary sentence for a DWI. He had also been charged with drunk driving in Florida in 2002. Cloninger was not allowed to drink alcohol while on probation, but police found a beer can in his truck after the alleged shooting.

 

That Cloninger was able to procure a gun despite his criminal history is shocking enough but, unbelievably, the story gets worse. Police refused to charge Cloninger with attempted murder, despite Donald’s family’s plea that they do so. And then, last week, the judge overseeing the case inexplicably reduced Cloninger’s bail from $2.2 million to $1 million.

 

As a mother and an American, this horrific crime and subsequent acts of injustice make me weep — for Donald’s mother and family, for other American children who are senselessly victimized by gun violence, and for my country, which has lost its moral compass when it comes to guns.

 

How is it possible that such a crime could occur in America in 2013? What kind of a nation enables and allows such heinous acts against children? And why are so few media covering Donald’s shocking story?

 

Despite our status as one of the most developed nations in the world, gun violence against children has become an everyday occurrence in our country. One American child or teen is shot and killed every 3 hours and 15 minutes. Twice as many children die from gun violence than from cancer. American children and teens are 17 times more likely to die from guns than their peers in other developed countries, and gun violence is the leading cause of death for African American children, according to the Children’s Defense Fund.

 

Yet our legislators, who are elected to protect their most vulnerable constituents, sit idly by, kowtowing to a vengeful gun lobby. A man who is accused of and has admitted to a crime unparalleled in depravity is being given leniency from the court. And the media, seemingly numb and indifferent to endless reports of gun violence, ignore a story that every American should hear.

 

Our grassroots movement, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, is doing what it can to bring awareness to Donald’s story. We have started a petition demanding the Dallas County District Attorney’s office review and revoke Cloninger’s bail, and publicly demonstrate their commitment to upholding justice in Donald’s case. Members of our Texas chapter will deliver the petition to the District Attorney‘s office when it reaches 5,000 signatures.

 

Donald is expected to be out of the hospital by Halloween. In the past month, he has endured several surgeries to repair the damage to his face, and has many more ahead. He will likely never again have feeling in his jaw. Recently his grandmother said, “He don’t want the kids to look at his face… He says, ‘I look like a monster, granny.’ I’m like, ‘No, you don’t.'”

 

Donald is not a monster; it’s the man who shot him who deserves that label. Dangerous people like Cloninger not only deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but they should not have access to firearms in the first place. Until we fix these failings in our culture, our nation’s children will continue to pay the highest price.

 

Read the full article on huffingtonpost.com

 

How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?

 

The answer to the simple question in that headline is surprisingly hard to come by. So Slate is collecting data for our crowd sourced interactive. This data is necessarily incomplete (click here to see why, and to learn more about @GunDeaths, the Twitter user who helped us create this interactive). But the more people who are paying attention, the better the data will be. You can help us draw a more complete picture of gun violence in America. If you know about a gun death in your community that isn’t represented here, please email a link to a news report to slatedata@gmail.com. And if you’d like to use this data yourself for your own projects, it’s open. You can download it here.

 

Update, October 18th, 2013: As time goes on, our count gets further and further away from the likely actual number of gun deaths in America—because roughly 60 percent of deaths by gun are due to suicides, which are very rarely reported. When discussing this issue, please note that our number is by design not accurate and represents only the number of gun deaths that the media can find out about contemporaneously. Part of the purpose of this interactive is to point out how difficult it is to get accurate real-time numbers on this issue.

 

Using the most recent CDC estimates for yearly deaths by guns in the United States, it is likely that as of today, 10/18/2013, roughly 27,677 people have died from guns in the U.S. since the Newtown shootings. Compare that number to the number of deaths reported in the news: 9,528, and you can see how under told the story of gun violence in America actually is.

 

2images

1214

546615_4021327213542_915857604_n

weapons

TheVictims_courantpageBlack3

184414_308393815945212_328503272_n

488143_339040889547171_1391156327_n

BIJPQpnCMAAV34B

nc3 blogger4peacelogo obamabottomheader

 

Somethings You Might Wanna Know…..


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

 

petition2

 

 

 

 

The Curious Case Of Mr. Duane Buck

 

Sentenced to Death Because He is Black? Grant Duane Buck a New Hearing!

Linda Geffin

Petition by Linda Geffin  Houston, TX

 

 

In 1997, I was one of the prosecutors in a court case that used race-based testimony to sentence to death Duane Buck, who’s black.

 

 

XgcaRvHCpYQgcMx-556x313-noPad

 

 

At the time, I was an Assistant District Attorney in Harris County, Texas and Mr. Buck was being tried for murder. During the trial, an “expert” witness named Dr. Walter Quijano was permitted to testify that being black increases the likelihood of ‘future dangerousness’. That testimony in part led to the jury sentencing Mr. Buck to death.

 

Mr. Buck committed a terrible crime and deserves to be punished, but he does not deserve to be sentenced to death because of the color of his skin. That’s why I started a petition on Change.org calling on Harris County District Attorney Mike Anderson to allow Duane Buck a resentencing hearing so he can serve a sentence based on his crime and not his race. Click here to sign my petition now.

 

Three years after Mr. Buck’s trial, the Texas Attorney General actually promised that he’d get a new, fair sentencing hearing. This was along with six other men who were sentenced unfairly because of similar testimonies in their own trials. Those six other men have received their hearings, but not Mr. Buck.

 

I started my petition in the hopes that District Attorney Anderson will act to make sure that our justice system is not tainted by unconstitutional considerations of race — and that begins by having a new, color-blind sentencing hearing for Duane Buck. Please click here to sign my petition now, calling on District Attorney Mike Anderson to grant Duane Buck a resentencing hearing.

 

Thank you.

 

Linda Geffin
Senior Assistant County Attorney
Houston, Texas

 

 

 

 

Immigration Reform From Rep. Tammy Baldwin

 

 

baldwin_1304_immigration_email

 

 

One of the biggest challenges we face in Congress is how to fix our broken immigration system.

 

For generations, America has been a beacon of hope to millions of people across the world. We are a nation of immigrants, the place where the best and the brightest come to find a better life for themselves and their families.

 

Comprehensive immigration reform is being debated right now. This is the time when a huge grassroots push can make a big impact. We owe it to ourselves to get this right and get the job done.

 

If you agree that we need a long-term solution that fixes our broken immigration system once and for all, you need to make your voice heard. Join me in calling on Congress to take action on comprehensive immigration reform — add your name today.

 

There are about 11 million of undocumented individuals in America today. About 1.8 million of those are children and young adults who came here through no fault of their own, and know no other home than America.

 

These families are forced to live in the shadows, rather than reach their full potential, contribute to their communities, and make themselves and this nation stronger.

 

Bitter partisan divides and Washington politics aren’t going to cut it this time. Members of Congress need to find some common ground and work to pass immigration reform that works for all American families.

 

Help me show members of Congress that there’s strong grassroots support for comprehensive immigration reform. Click here to add your name to mine today.

 

Immigration reform has been pushed aside for too many years. I didn’t come to the Senate to kick the tough issues down the road — I came to roll up my sleeves and fix them.

 

Thank you for doing your part.

Tammy

 

 

share_graphic

 

041713_dotcom_guncontrol_640

 

3-new-petitions-ask-for-gun-control-after-elementary-school-shooting-2

 

 

nitt_action_blog_image

 

POTUSbanner

 

blogger4peacelogo

 

obamabottomlogo2

 

 

 

 

Texas District Attorney And His Wife Shot To Death In Home


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

01kaufman_1-articleLarge

Investigators outside the home of Mike McLelland, the Kaufman County district attorney, and his wife Cynthia, who were both found shot dead on Saturday.  It was the second fatal shooting of a prosecutor in Kaufman County in two months.

 

 

 

Texas District Attorney, Wife Found Dead Inside Home

 

 

 

 

 

From The New York Times:

 

Texas Prosecutor Shot to Death Two Months After Assistant’s Killing

 

 

By   Published: March 31, 2013

 

Lauren D’Avolio contributed reporting from Kaufman, and Michael Schwirtz and Serge F. Kovaleski from New York. 

 

KAUFMAN, Tex. — The district attorney in this largely rural county southeast of Dallas and his wife were found shot to death at their home on Saturday night in Forney, Tex., two months after one of his prosecutors was shot and killed while walking to the courthouse here.

 

The fatal shootings of the district attorney, Mike McLelland, 63, of Kaufman County, and his wife, Cynthia, 65, stunned law enforcement officials and local residents, many of whom were still shaken by the killing of one of Mr. McLelland’s prosecutors, Mark E. Hasse, 57, who was killed on Jan. 31 in a parking lot near the courthouse.

 

The authorities said it was too early to say if the deaths of Mr. McLelland and his wife were connected to Mr. Hasse’s shooting. But the timing of the shootings — and the killings of two prosecutors in a county of 106,000 people in the span of eight weeks — appeared to many officials to be more than coincidence.

 

“I’m really trying to stress for people to remain calm,” said Mayor Darren Rozell of Forney. “This appeared to be a targeted attack and not a random attack.” Forney is about 15 miles northwest of the city of Kaufman, the county seat.

 

Officials from several local, state and federal agencies — including the F.B.I., the Texas Rangers and the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department — were working on the case.

 

The Kaufman County sheriff, David A. Byrnes, told reporters at a news conference on Sunday that his officers had been called to Mr. McLelland’s house shortly after 6 p.m. on Saturday and that the bodies of Mr. McLelland and his wife were then discovered inside. He would not say if there were any signs of forced entry.

 

Sheriff Byrnes said he had increased protection for other local elected officials and would be tightening security at the courthouse, although he would not go into detail.

 

“It’s unnerving to the law enforcement community, to the community at large,” he said. “That’s why we’re striving to assure the community that we are protecting public safety and will continue to do that.”

 

In the shooting of Mr. Hasse, the authorities said one or two gunmen had gotten out of a gray or silver sedan, opened fire and fled. Witnesses told investigators that the suspect or suspects appeared to have had their faces covered and were wearing black clothing and tactical-style vests. No arrests have been made, and investigators from nine agencies have been searching for leads.

 

After Mr. Hasse’s killing, Mr. McLelland appeared alongside the county sheriff and the police chief from the city of Kaufman, vowing to find those responsible and referring to the suspect or suspects as “scum.”

 

“I hope that the people that did this are watching, because we’re very confident that we’re going to find you, we’re going to pull you out of whatever hole you’re in, we’re going to bring you back and let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” he told reporters.

 

Doug Lowe, the district attorney in nearby Anderson County and a friend of Mr. McLelland’s, said the latest shootings “were a blow to all Texas prosecutors.”

 

“We’re a tight-knit group,” Mr. Lowe said. “I don’t think anyone in my group will be in fear. We’re not going to let this stand in the way of getting the bad guys.”

 

One of several angles that investigators have been exploring is whether Mr. Hasse’s killing involved members of the Aryan Brotherhood, the white supremacist gang that is active in prisons. Prosecutors in Mr. McLelland’s office had assisted in investigations of the gang, including a recent case that had targeted the Brotherhood’s leadership.

 

In that case, the federal authorities announced in November that a grand jury in Houston had indicted more than 30 senior Brotherhood leaders and other members of the gang on racketeering charges. Federal officials said the defendants had agreed to commit killings, robberies, arsons and kidnappings and to traffic narcotics on behalf of the gang. The indictments stemmed from an investigation led by a multi-agency task force that included prosecutors from Kaufman County and three other district attorney’s offices. A month later, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a statewide bulletin warning officials that the Aryan Brotherhood was planning to retaliate against officials who had helped secure the indictments.

 

Mr. Hasse was shot the same day that two Aryan Brotherhood members — Ben Christian Dillon, also known as “Tuff,” of Houston, and James Marshall Meldrum, who nickname is “Dirty,” of Dallas — pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in Federal District Court in Houston.

 

A law enforcement official said there was no evidence so far in the investigation of Mr. Hasse’s killing that pointed to the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was still continuing, said that investigators believed the shootings of Mr. Hasse and Mr. McLelland were related but appeared to have been carried out by different people, perhaps from the same group or with the same affiliation.

 

But Sheriff Byrnes said he had no indication that the shootings of Mr. McLelland and his wife were the work of the Brotherhood.

 

Investigators have also been pursuing possible links between Mr. Hasse’s killing and the death of Tom Clements, the Colorado state prisons chief, who was shot and killed two weeks ago at his home in Monument, Colo., near Colorado Springs.

 

The suspect in Mr. Clements’s killing, Evan S. Ebel, 28, died after a shootout and high-speed chase with Texas law enforcement officers and sheriff’s deputies in Wise County, northwest of Dallas, on March 21. There were a number reports that Mr. Ebel had joined a white-supremacist gang known as the 211 Crew while he was in a Colorado prison, but the authorities said they were still investigating any possible links.

 

Officials in Colorado Springs who have been investigating Mr. Clements’s killing spoke on Sunday with investigators in Texas, but Paula Presley, the undersheriff in El Paso County, Colo., said it was still too early to say whether there were any connections between the killings. She said that Mr. McLelland’s killing was “very, very concerning” and that it had raised an already heightened sense of alert in Colorado.

 

Mr. McLelland was a 23-year veteran of the Army who served in the first Iraq war, according to a biography on the Web site of the Kaufman County district attorney’s office. He also worked as a diagnostic psychologist for Texas government agencies.

 

He served for 18 years as a criminal defense attorney and special prosecutor for the Department of Family and Protective Services. He and his wife had five children, including one son who is a Dallas police officer.

 

 

Thanks to The New York Times for this report.

 

 

Guess what….law enforcement sources say the weapon used in this assassination of the District Attorney & his wife was an AR-15. An assault weapon. Assault weapons are useful for one thing only…..killing humans.

 

 

How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?

Answer is: 3,164 humans have dies since Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th, 2012.

That’s Three Thousand One Hundred & Sixth Four human lives erased in the 107 days since the Newtown, Connecticut massacre.

 

 

 

bgkvebmcyaa_jx6

 

 

129482_600

 

 

Politics_Gun

 

 

thetimeisnow

 

 

129100_600

 

 

gun_constitution

 

 

527538_3297557136274_530686939_n

 

 

blogger4peacelogo

 

 

DAP-EMAIL-HEADER-4

 

 

obama-logo-head (3)

 

Kaufman County Assistant DA Gunned Down In Broad Daylight Outside County Courthouse


By Jueseppi B.

 

gun_constitution

 

 

 

 

From WFAA.Com Dallas/Ft. Worth:

 

by MATT GOODMAN at WFAA

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Updated today at 6:09 PM

Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was shot dead outside the courthouse Thursday, spurring a complete lockdown of the grounds and an active search for the two shooters.

 

Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Pat Laney said the suspects ambushed the assistant DA on his way in to court and shot him multiple times in a parking lot at about 8:50 a.m. They then fled the scene. The courthouse was locked down and later closed for the day.

 

As of 3:30 p.m., there’s been no arrest. During an afternoon press conference, Kaufman County Sheriff David Burns, District Attorney Mike McLellan and Police Chief Chris Albaugh begged the public for any information that could identify those responsible.

 

“We’re very confident that we’re going to find you, we’re going to pull you out of whatever hole you’re in, we’re going to bring you back and we’re going to let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” McLellan said.

 

Hasse, a longtime prosecutor for the Dallas County District Attorney‘s Office and current assistant DA for Kaufman County, is the man who was shot and killed, the Sheriff’s Office confirmed. He was a felony prosecutor who headed murder and drug cases.

 

Hasse joined the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office in July 2010, records show.

 

“Mark was really a great guy, he was the consummate prosecutor, he was hard-working, loved his job, and juries loved him for some reason,” said Dallas attorney Ted Steinke, who oversaw Hasse in the Dallas County DA’s Office. “He wasn’t very large in stature, but juries loved him and he exuded confidence.”

 

Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood told News 8’s Jonathan Betz that he was not working on any high-profile cases that required any extra security. Investigators are following up on his caseload, however.

 

However, hours after Hasse was gunned down, the Department of Justice issued a release on its website crediting the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office with helping investigate two known members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas gang. They pleaded guilty the day of the shooting to racketeering charges.

 

Before the release was issued, The Dallas Morning Newscredited “authorities with knowledge of the assistant DA’s caseload” as saying he was “heavily involved” in an investigation of the Aryan Brotherhood. According to the release, Ben Christian Dillon, aka “Tuff”, of Houston, and James Marshall Meldrum, aka “Dirty”, of Dallas, both “agreed to commit multiple acts of murder, robbery, arson, kidnapping and narcotics tracking” for the Aryan Brotherhood.

 

During the press conference, Burns and Albaugh each warned against speculation, saying they are both following “several” leads.

 

“Due to the nature of them, we can’t discuss them,” Albaugh said. “As soon as we’re able to, we’d be be glad to help you.”

 

Earlier, Wood  classified Hasse’s shooting as an “ambush” and told Betz that courthouse security is always tight, but not in the parking lot.

 

“It’s a scary deal,” Steinke said. “Every prosecutor every once in a while gets a death threat, and we take them seriously, but this is the first time in 20 years that I can remember here in North Texas a prosecutor actually being assaulted.”

 

During a press conference, Sheriff David Burns and Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh said Hasse was heading to misdemeanor court when he was assaulted and gunned down.

 

“When you get up into the level, you are really attacking society as a whole because our whole society is based on our criminal justice system and getting our day in court,” Burns said. “This is not how to handle our business.”

 

The Texas Department of Public Safety sent out an alert for troopers to be on lookout for a silver “older model” Ford Taurus. According to the alert, the two suspects are wearing all black and at least one is in a tactical vest. DPS choppers are flying low over the treeline in north Kaufman.

 

Kaufman County Crime Stoppers issued a reward that quickly swelled to $30,000 Thursday afternoon for information leading to who is responsible. To submit an anonymous tip, you’re asked to call 817-847-7522. 

 

Kaufman Independent School District Superintendent Todd Williams said all schools in the district are also locked down as authorities search for the shooters. Forney ISD spokesman Larry Coker said all schools have been ordered to lock their doors until the suspects are caught. Administrators will reevaluate the plan at 2 p.m.

 

Forney is about 22 miles northwest of Kaufman.

 

“This is a crime, as our county judge said, that is against the very basis of our fabric,” McLellan said. “As far as I know, this has never been done before.”

 

In an email sent to staff Thursday morning, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office confirmed the victim was a prosecutor and was fatally shot.

 

Below is the entire email sent by the Dallas County DA:

“This message is not intended to scare anyone but please be advised. A Kaufman County prosecutor was fatally shot a few minutes ago outside the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. Two masked gunman are the suspects. They have not been apprehended yet.

Please be aware of your surroundings when leaving the building for your safety. This is probably a isolated incident but until further notice if you plan to work past dark today please be careful and ask security for assistance escorting you to your vehicles if needed. I will keep you informed as to the arrest of the suspects when i am notified. Don’t panic but please be aware of your environment when leaving the building.”

 

Employees at businesses nearby say they’ve seen heavy police activity and heard reports of the shooting. Cathy Coulson, a real estate agent at Re/Max across from the courthouse, said she was not at work when the shooting happened, but reported seeing police helicopters searching overhead.

 

“I didn’t hear anything, I came into my office right after it happened, but I talked to one of my clients that’s two blocks behind us and he said that he heard it,” Coulson said, adding that she’s seen police walking the streets. “They don’t have time to come tell us to lock down, we have enough sense to do that; we’ve seen them going around and the helicopters.”

 

Tonya Ratcliff, a clerk at The Kaufman County Tax Office located to the right of the courthouse, said officers came inside and asked them to lock their doors.

 

Kaufman is a town of 7,000 about 30 miles east of Dallas.

 

 

kaufmanshooting4

Investigators placed evidence markers in the spot where Kaufman County Assistant DA Mark Hasse was gunned down on Jan. 31, 2013. (Credit: WFAA

 

 

KaufmanShooting3

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers line a street in north Kaufman following a shooting at the Kaufman County Courthouse that left a assistant district attorney dead. (Marcus Moore/WFAA)

 

 

kaufmanshooting2

A prosecutor was shot dead outside the Kaufman County courthouse on Jan. 31, 2013. (Credit: Jonathan Betz/WFAA)

 

 

kaufmanshooting5

Kaufman County authorities gather after Assistant DA Mark Hasse was murdered outside the courthouse on Jan. 31, 2013. (Credit: WFAA)

 

 

kaufmanshooting7

The Kaufman County Courthouse was shut down after Assistant DA Mark Hasse was gunned down nearby on Jan. 31, 2013. (Credit: WFAA)

 

 

kaufmanshooting8

State troopers search a Kaufman neighborhood after the county’s assistant district attorney was gunned down on Jan. 31, 2013. (Credit: WFAA)

 

 

Get The Rest of The Story & Photos at WFAA.Com Dallas/Ft. Worth.

 

 

 

iimaginepeace

 

 

 

bloggers4peace

 

 

 

blackhistorymonthbanner

 

 

“One A Day” Black History Month ~ Ms. Kamala Devi Harris.


By Jueseppi B.

I knew about Ms. Kamala Devi Harris & her brilliant career, and now I will introduce those of you who didn’t know about her, to Ms. Kamala Devi Harris.

Twenty-first in The “One A Day” Black History Month Series:  Ms. Kamala Devi Harris.

Kamala Devi Harris (born October 20, 1964) is an American attorney. She is the 32nd and current Attorney General of California following the 2010 California state elections. Harris has worked as an author and a politician and has served as District Attorney of San Francisco since 2004. First elected in 2003, defeating incumbent district attorney Terence Hallinan, she was re-elected in 2007. Harris is the first female, African-American, and Asian American attorney general in California and the first Tamil American attorney general in the United States.

That is a lot of first.

Harris was born in OaklandCalifornia. She is the daughter of a Tamil mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan – a breast cancer specialist who immigrated to the United States from ChennaiTamil Nadu, India in 1960– and a Jamaican American father, Stanford University economics professor Donald Harris. She has one younger sister, Maya Harris. While the Harris sisters grew up in a household that blended Hindu and Baptist teachings, she is currently a practicing Baptist.

Harris attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and received her Juris Doctor (JD) from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1989.

Harris served as Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County, California, from 1990 to 1998. She then became Managing Attorney of the Career Criminal Unit in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. In 2000, San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne recruited Harris to join her office, where she was Chief of the Community and Neighborhood Division, which oversees civil code enforcement matters. Recognized by The Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the top 100 lawyers in California, Harris serves on the board of the California District Attorney’s Association and is Vice President of the National District Attorneys Association.

In 2003 Harris was elected District Attorney of San Francisco by defeating two term incumbent Terence Hallinan and was reelected when she ran unopposed in 2007.

She was called a front-runner in her campaign being nominated to be California Attorney General in 2010, and on June 8, 2010, she received the Democratic nomination for California Attorney General.

In 2009, Harris wrote Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer. Harris looks at criminal justice from an economic perspective, attempting to reduce temptation and access for criminals. The book goes through a series of “myths” surrounding the criminal justice system, and presents proposals to reduce and prevent crime.

She has been outspoken on the need for innovation in public safety, particularly with respect to reducing the recidivism rate in San Francisco. One such program, “Back on Track” was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a model program for the state. Initially, there were issues with removing illegal immigrants from the program, including an incident involving Alexander Izaguirre, who was later arrested for assault. However, before the program was named a state model by Governor Schwarzenegger, it was revised to address this concern.

On November 12, 2008, Harris announced her candidacy for California Attorney General. She was immediately seen as the front runner and was endorsed by such prominent Californians as Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the Democratic Party primary she faced Chris Kelly, former Chief Privacy Officer of Facebook; Assemblyman Alberto Torrico; Assemblyman and former military prosecutor Ted Lieu; Assemblyman Pedro Nava; Rocky Delgadillo, former City Attorney of Los Angeles; and Mike Schmier.

In the June 8, 2010, primary, she was nominated with 33.6% of the vote and her closest competitors, Torrico and Kelly, had 15.6% and 15.5% respectively. In the general election, she faced Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley. On election night, November 2, 2010, Cooley prematurely declared victory, but many ballots remained uncounted.

On November 24, as the count advanced, Harris was leading by more than 55,000 votes, and Cooley conceded. On January 3, 2011, Harris became the first woman, African-American, and Asian American attorney general in California and the first Indian American attorney general in the United States.

Harris is opposed to the death penalty but has said that she would review each case individually.
As San Francisco District Attorney, Harris has raised the overall felony conviction rate from 52% in 2003 to 67% in 2006, the highest in a decade, secured an 85% conviction rate for homicides, and increased convictions of drug dealers from 56% in 2003 to 74% in 2006.

Harris created a special Hate Crimes Unit as San Francisco District Attorney. She focused on hate crimes against LGBT children and teens in schools. She convened a national conference to confront the “gay-transgender panic defense”, which has been used to justify violent hate crimes. Harris supports same-sex marriage in California and opposed both Proposition 22 and Proposition 8.

In interviews with Matt Lauer on The Today Show and local KGO-TV, Harris argued for treating “habitual and chronic truancy” among children in elementary school as a crime committed by the parents of truant children. She argues that there is a direct connection between habitual truancy in elementary school and crime later in life. She has received the endorsement of the California Federation of Teachers.

During her time as San Francisco District Attorney, Harris created the Environmental Justice Unit in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and has prosecuted several industries and individuals for pollution, most notably U-Haul, Alameda Publishing Corporation, and the Cosco Busan oil spill. She has also advocated for strong enforcement of environmental protection laws.

Harris has prosecuted numerous financial crimes throughout her career, particularly those affecting elders, those involving use of high-technology, and identity theft. She has indicated that as attorney general she would crack down on predatory lending and other financial crimes.

Born: 20-Oct-1964
Birthplace: Oakland, CA

Gender: Female
Religion: Baptist
Race or Ethnicity: Multiracial [1]
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Attorney, Government
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Attorney General of California

Father: Donald Harris (Stanford economist)
Mother: Shyamala Gopalan Harris (breast cancer researcher)
Sister: Maya Lakshmi Harris (attorney)
Boyfriend: Willie Brown (Mayor of San Francisco, ex-)
Boyfriend: Phil Bronstein (San Francisco Chronicle editor, together 2004)

University: BS, Howard University (1986)
Law School: JD, Hastings College of the Law (1989)

Attorney General of California (2011-)
California State Official District Attorney, San Francisco (2003-11)
California State Official Deputy City Attorney, San Francisco (2000-03)
California State Official San Francisco DA’s Office, Career Criminal Unit Mgr (1998-2000)
California State Official Deputy District Attorney, Alameda (1990-98)
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
Aspen Institute Fellow
California District Attorneys Association
Democratic National Committee
John Kerry for President
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Co-Chair
Leakey Foundation Advisor to the Board of Trustees
National District Attorneys Association Board of Directors
Obama for America
San Francisco Foundation Community Leadership Awards Committee
San Francisco Bar Association Board of Directors
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Children’s mentor
Campaign Finance Violation
Wedding: Jerry Brown and Anne Gust (2005)
Jamaican Ancestry Paternal
Tamil Ancestry Maternal

Official Website:
http://oag.ca.gov/

Author of books:
Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer (2009, non-fiction)

Next in the “One A Day” Black History Month Series……Ms. Maya Angelou.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 264,379 other followers

%d bloggers like this: