SF District Attorney Kamala Harris’s decision not to seek the death penalty in the Edwin Ramos case “involved many issues, many facts and many laws,” she told the Chronicle yesterday, not elaborating on the reason for the decision. One political observer said the move won’t hurt her in her bid for state attorney general unless the GOP fields a moderate.
“You’ve got to give her some credit for a relatively unpopular decision, but it was a campaign promise and a pretty cut-and-dried one,” said local pollster David Latterman. “She will take criticism, but she’s making the political calculus that this isn’t really going to hurt her.”
Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman told Judge Charles Haines on Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court that the office would not seek the death penalty for Edwin Ramos, who allegedly murdered Tony Bologna and his two sons in 2008.
As bad as the Bologna murders were, Latterman said, they are ultimately a local crime issue -- less pressing when Democratic voters consider choices for the state’s top cop. “The only thing that hurts Kamala in this case is if you get some sort of moderate Republican in there with serious environmental cred or corporate malfeasance credibility,” he said. “Damned if I know who that person is.”
— Kate Moser