OAKLAND, Calif. — Rachel and Aisha Hampton, the mother and cousin of unjustly imprisoned Carlos Harris, are asking that letters supporting his freedom be sent to them as he faces a resentencing hearing June 7.
Harris was falsely accused of attempted murder of Robert “Bobby” Carr, a man he never saw. He wasn’t present when the man was attacked in San Jose in 2004 and he didn’t fit the victim’s description of his attackers. Harris wasn’t picked out in a police lineup.
He insisted he was innocent and demanded a jury trial, refusing a plea bargain offer by prosecutors. The state pressed his co-defendants to give perjured testimony to help frame him, offering them lighter sentences.
Harris was found guilty and sentenced to 14 years and two months in prison, but that sentence was illegally doubled by the judge under California’s notorious “three-strikes” law. That 1994 law provided for doubling a sentence if a defendant had been convicted of a “serious felony” earlier. In this case, the conviction the judge used was a misdemeanor in 1991, three years before the three-strikes law even went into effect.
Harris will have strong family support upon his release. He has taken advantage of educational and work programs in several California prisons, and jobs barbering and in construction have been arranged after his release. Above, 2022 protest in Sacramento demanding Harris’ release.