Senator Kamala Harris
, a Democratic candidate for president, is surging and saw a significant increase in support in three polls released this week, as she cut into the lead that former Vice President Joe Biden has enjoyed since he entered the race.
First-quarter Federal Election Commission filings show that through March 31, Harris led all rivals in contributions from Hollywood industry movers and shakers. And she’s evidently aware of the power of media, as she wrote an op-ed
for NBC News last month calling on President Donald “Trump and all Americans to watch Ava DuVernay
’s recent Netflix
miniseries, When They See Us
Harris’s commentary was reacting to a Trump statement that he would not apologize to the five men who were incarcerated for their alleged role in a series of assaults and a rape in Central Park. Trump said they “admitted their guilt,” even though the charges were later invalidated after another man admitted to the rape.
In her op-ed, former prosecutor Harris gushed that “DuVernay’s retelling of the case is a masterpiece,” and said the miniseries highlighted “flaws in a system that is supposed to be rooted in truth and justice.” She blamed “systemic biases,” “racism” and “sensationalized media coverage,” including a Trump full-page ad in 1989, as causes that made it “almost impossible for (the accusd) to be treated fairly). And the trial also exposed the dehumanization of Black children and life-threatening consequences — things that still occur today.”
Harris cited studies that showed young people’s brains are not fully developed until age 25 as an argument that the full weight of the justice system should not be used against “children” who are in trouble.
“We need to change our approach, by sentencing young people more leniently, ending the automatic transfer of children to adult prisons, and eliminating youth solitary confinement. We must treat children like children,” Harris said.
Harris said, if elected president, she would seek to enshrine in federal law a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that youth offenders cannot be sentenced to life without parole for non-homicide offenses, and a 2012 Supreme Court rule that banned mandatory juvenile sentences of life without parole.
“The criminal justice system failed Korey, Raymond, Antron, Kevin and Yusef,” she said, naming the so-called Central Park Five from the miniseries. “We owe it to them, and to all of our children, to fundamentally change the way that we treat our most vulnerable.”