Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) hit Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) over the latter’s record as a prosecutor in California during the Democratic debate on July 31.
“I’m deeply concerned about this record [of senator Harris]. … She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana,” Gabbard said at Detroit’s Fox Theatre.
“She blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way.”
Harris responded, saying: “I did the work of significantly reforming the criminal justice system of the state of 40 million people which became a national model for the work that needs to be done. And I am proud of that work.”
“And I am proud of making a decision to not just give fancy speeches or be in a legislative body and give speeches on the floor, but actually doing the work of being in the position to use the power that I had to reform a system that is badly in need of reform,” she added.
Gabbard hit back, telling Harris: “When you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people’s lives, you did not and worse yet in the case of those who are on death row, innocent people, you actually blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed them until you were forced to do so.”