SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Three dozen people rallied in a Martin Luther King Day protest Jan. 17 across the street from the state Capitol building here demanding that Carlos Harris and other unjustly incarcerated prisoners be released. “My cousin Carlos has served 17 years of a 28-year-and-four-month sentence for a crime he did not commit,” said protest organizer Aisha Hampton. Harris was framed up and jailed in 2005 for the attempted murder of Robert Carr, and other charges.
Harris protested that he had inadequate counsel and was railroaded to prison for a crime committed by others when he wasn’t even present. “He was denied his right to face his accuser at his trial and had a public defender who called no witnesses,” Hampton said. “Incarcerated lives matter too,” she said, noting the importance of using the King Day commemorations to point to present-day injustices and demand an end to them.
Hampton told the Militant that last October Harris applied for clemency from Gov. Gavin Newsom but hasn’t gotten a response. She said more than 5,700 people have signed an online petition at change.org to support his fight.