Kamala Harris

Thursday, October 29, 2009

In her new book “Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safe,” San Francisco’s District Attorney Kamala Harris — who has been called “the female Barack Obama” — examines new, unconvential ideas on how our society can reform our broken criminal justice system. Read an excerpt:
Kamala Harris
Getting back on track
Responding to violent crimes and supporting victims is the everyday work of a district attorney. Like our colleagues in a wide array of emergency services, we are primed for a twenty-four-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week response to the threats against our community and the questfor justice for victims. But there is another dimension to the way I have come to view my responsibility that is also important. Twice a year there is an event that I and many others in my office attend after the courts close. As the clock ticks on through the day, we all cross our fingers that the fates spare us an emergency call for at least a few hours. Because if the essential and sometimes grim business of prosecuting offenders and defending the rights of crime victims is what occupies the bulk of our days, this event is a unique chance to hope. It’s evidence that we have found a new way to get tough on the underlying dynamics of a huge category of crime that is bursting the seams of our system.

Most recently, this event began in the early evening in the jury assembly room of San Francisco’s courthouse, across the street from City Hall. Unlike the responsible but often annoyed and preoccupied citizens who line up most mornings to report for jury service, this night a group of upbeat people, young and old, are entering the room, smiling and chatting happily.
Source: today.msnbc.msn.com

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