Update 01/19/2021 1:38pm:
Death Row co-founder Michael "Harry-O" Harris is reportedly set to be released from prison immediately following Snoop Dogg and two activists' successful efforts to get the former Los Angeles drug kingpin pardoned by outgoing president, Donald Trump.
Harris was scheduled to be released in 2028, and had been fighting for his release for years. During his 30 plus years of being incarcerated, Harris has encountered health issues and recently contracted the coronavirus. He has also been stricken with an ailment called Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which attacks the immune system and nerves.
"Harry-O had another 10 years and he may not have made it," said Weldon Angelos, one of the activists who assisted with getting Harris pardoned. "There's COVID…it's rampant, there's 40,000 people infected in the federal prison system and 190 deaths and it's rising every day."
Weldon Angelos and Alice Marie Johnson were the two former prisoners-turned activists, who helped Snoop Dogg lobby Trump to include Harris on his pardon list, which is expected to be revealed later on Tuesday. Weldon stated that after Snoop approached him about getting Harry-O released, he put the rapper in touch with Johnson, who was touched by Harris' story.
"We just let Snoop give his pitch to Alice on what Harry-O meant to him, you know, how important this person was to him. Alice listened. She was very impressed – not because it was Snoop or that (Harry-O) was the founder of Death Row Records," Weldon said. "When she looked through the file that I had sent her, she was impressed that he had done a lot in the time he was in federal prison. He has accomplished a lot through the different programs he was creating and doing on the streets from prison. And his post-release plans."
Harris is credited with bankrolling Death Row Records with $1.5 million in seed money for a 50 percent stake in the company. Harris and his ex-wife eventually found themselves in a legal and financial battle with Suge Knight for years, while attempting to collect on a $107 million victory in court.
Harris was convicted in 1988 of attempted murder and narcotics distribution, although the attempted murder charge was later reversed on appeal. He has been serving federal and state time for his role in operating an 11-state drug trafficking empire with close ties to the Cali Cartel in Colombia.
"He was railroaded, doing his time twice," Angelos said. "Doing all this time in the State and then the Fed, but it wasn't running concurrent like it was supposed to. And so he had to do all this time over again. This is definitely an injustice they corrected today. Out of all this drama going on with the White House, something good has come out of this."
Original 01/18/2021 8:17pm:
Snoop Dogg has openly criticized Donald Trump throughout his term as President of the United States. However, as Trump prepares to pardon 100 inmates on his final day in office, Snoop is quietly working with a pair of activists close to the White House in an effort to convince the outgoing president to pardon Death Row Records co-founder, Michael "Harry-O" Harris.
"The president knows about it. I've spoken with Ivanka [Trump] and I've spoken with Jared [Kushner], and I've been told that President Trump is aware of the case and has been reviewing it," said Alice Johnson, a criminal-justice reform advocate whose life sentence was commuted by Trump over two years ago. "I've spoken to [White House chief of staff] Mark Meadows about it, and he said he'd take a look at it. The president knows how much this case means to me… In reviewing Michael Harris' case, his story, and what he's gone through, this is such an unfair case…He should have been home a decade ago. I really felt for this man. I am very hopeful that he will be home before the end of the Trump administration."
Activist Weldon Angelos, a former music producer who was pardoned by Trump last month, credited Snoop Dogg for setting up the possibility of Harry-O receiving clemency on Trump's final day in office. Angelos said Snoop contacted him after Christmas to get Harry-O's sentence commuted. He says he then approached Johnson with the matter and was on a conference call with her and Snoop the following day to discuss how to get the case on the desk and signed by Trump.
"Snoop brought this case to me, and I brought Alice Johnson on board to help it with me, and she brought it to the West Wing," Angelos. "In the past, the president has given her the ability to select cases. And she doesn't get [clemency for] all of them…But with Mr. Harris, she is not taking no for an answer."
Despite Snoop's past issues with Trump, Johnson said Snoop told her he's "appreciative" of what Trump's done "in terms of getting folks released from prison" before adding that she conveyed his message to the White House two weeks ago.
Michael "Harry-O" Harris is currently serving federal and state time for his role in operating an 11-state drug trafficking empire with close ties to the Cali Cartel in Colombia. He's currently expected to be released in 2028.
Source: The Daily Beast