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California Attorney General Kamala Harris Lauds Record On Fighting Human Trafficking

California Attorney General Kamala Harris touted her efforts this week to fight human trafficking.

Aired 4/26/12 on KPBS News.

Family of girl who killed her pimp accuses Harris of playing politics with the subject.

Earlier this year, prosecutors agreed to reduce Sara Kruzan’s first-degree murder charge to second-degree, which made her eligible for parole.
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Above: Earlier this year, prosecutors agreed to reduce Sara Kruzan’s first-degree murder charge to second-degree, which made her eligible for parole.

Attorney General Harris issued a press release Tuesday announcing the progress of two anti-human trafficking bills.

“Human trafficking is a criminal industry that is expanding rapidly across the globe, including here in California," Harris said. "I am proud to sponsor these bills against human trafficking and am committed to this fight. The same transnational gangs that traffic drugs and guns across our border also traffic human beings and we must counter their threat.”

But Harris has declined to take positions on former sex trafficking victim Sara Kruzan’s petition for a new trial and whether Kruzan was a victim of domestic violence when she killed her pimp at age 16. Harris withdrew an earlier opinion stating Kruzan’s relationship with her pimp was a professional and financial one or at worst criminal. She has not offered replacement position. Instead, she has asked that the case be returned to Riverside. Kruzan’s aunt Anne Rogan said she appreciates Harris’ push to combat human trafficking but it means little if she refuses to take a position on Kruzan’s case.

“It appears to be political maneuvering," Rogan said. "It is also very perplexing. I understand back in the 90s, sex trafficking and human trafficking weren’t even in our vocabularies. But clearly this case is one of the most egregious cases of sex trafficking.”

Harris’ spokesman Shum Preston declined to comment on the Kruzan case other than to say, “hopefully a good decision was made” by withdrawing the earlier position on Kruzan.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | April 26, 2012 at 8:18 a.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

Ms. Sharma, in past articles you have deliberately blurred distinctions between the prostitution of minors, prostittuion among adults and human trafficking for sexual purposes in general--all of which DO have some overlap, yet are distinct social phenomenon as well.

Less than a week ago I read that AG Harris reversed her position on the Kurzan case. Here you report that she is declined to make a decision. So which is it?

Honestly, this is not the best journalism.

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Avatar for user 'dbw281953'

dbw281953 | April 27, 2012 at 2:57 a.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

AG HARRIS, SARA KRUZAN IS NOT A BARGAINING CHIP !!! SHE IS A HUMAN BEING THAT HAS 1,SERVED MORE THAN HER TIME 2,SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN PUT IN PRISON TO BEGIN WITH 3,IS A VICTIM !!! Please FREE HER NOW !!!

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Avatar for user 'estrella'

estrella | April 27, 2012 at 4:06 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

That's right. She was a victim, should never have been prosecuted or spent a day in jail. AG Harris is a hypocrite if she wants us to admire her for apposing sex trafficking
and art the she time leaving Sara in prison. Send the case back to Riverside? That's who railroaded her in the first place!

FREE SARA NOW! FREE SRA NOW!

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Avatar for user 'Studying_Nomad'

Studying_Nomad | April 27, 2012 at 5:46 p.m. ― 2 years, 6 months ago

I'm still confused about how she was convicted in the first place. Jury of her peers?

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Avatar for user 'SoldierCoder'

SoldierCoder | April 30, 2012 at 4:51 p.m. ― 2 years, 5 months ago

MissionAcomplished.... the deal is yes AG Harris reversed her decision. But she did it in a way that renders both decisions MEANINGLESS. She basically said to the original court, "Hey, I'm not going to get into a fight about what Domestic Violence is, so I am going to send the issue back to you while not telling you what you originally did was wrong and not directing you to do anything different." In effect she is giving the original the go-ahead to confirm their original decision. So yes, AG Harris is playing politics.

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Avatar for user 'SoldierCoder'

SoldierCoder | April 30, 2012 at 5:38 p.m. ― 2 years, 5 months ago

And I also have to say, this kind of game-playing on the part of AG Harris shows her to be a weak leader. A better leader would recognize there is a problem with the definition of Domestic Violence as it is written (which she sort of does) AND work to correct that obvious flaw. As the leader of law enforcement for the entire state, she should be fixing such a glaring obvious flaw. Her own words point out the flaw:

"We also recognize that it is perverse to suggest that a minor who has been sexually abused and exploited from the age of 11 should be entitled to lesser defenses than an adult who has been in an abusive dating relationship."

from: http://bit.ly/reverseHarris

But what has she done about it? Nothing except send it back to the original court.
WEAK.

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Avatar for user 'nay99'

nay99 | May 4, 2012 at 7:34 a.m. ― 2 years, 5 months ago

"But what has she done about it? Nothing except send it back to the original court. WEAK."

It's only been a couple of weeks. sheesh. Things take time and she must be a busy woman. Be happy, it's a start.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | May 4, 2012 at 11:13 a.m. ― 2 years, 5 months ago

SOLDIER CODGER, strange considering Harris is a liberal Democrat, don't you think? Unless there is something there that we the public do not know.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | May 4, 2012 at 11:42 a.m. ― 2 years, 5 months ago

Everyone who kills a pimp should get a huge reward.

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