Michael Harris became involved in prison reform activism during a 30-year stint in federal prison.
On the last day of his presidency, Donald Trump has reportedly pardoned Michael “Harry-O” Harris, the co-founder of Death Row Records. The 58-year-old Harris has been incarcerated in a California prison since 1998 after being convicted of attempted murder and kidnapping.
Criminal justice reform activist Alice Johnson and Snoop Dogg got involved in the case. According to Johnson, the two spoke with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to make the President aware of Harris’ case.
— Weldon Angelos (@weldon_angelos) January 19, 2021
“The president knows how much this case means to me,” Johnson said in an exclusive interview with AllHipHop. “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.”
Snoop Dogg brought the case to former producer Weldon Angelos, who received a pardon from Trump last month. Angelos reached out to Johnson, who hopped on a conference call with Snoop to discuss it. According to Angelos, Harris received a pardon on Tuesday evening.
Harry-O, who funded Denzel Washington’s early plays on Broadway, and founder of Godfather Entertainment (known as Death Row), will be pardoned by Trump. pic.twitter.com/XK38G47ThS
— Boss (@_ValTown_) January 19, 2021
Harris co-founded Death Row Records from prison in 1992, but that was far from his first ventures in the entertainment business. In 1988, Harris produced a Broadway adaption of Ron Milner’s Checkmates. The play starred award-winners like Ruby Dee and Paul Winfield, and also served as the Broadway debut of Denzel Washington a year before he won an Academy Award for Glory.
“He was railroaded, doing his time twice,” Angelos told AllHipHop. “Doing all this time in [state prison] and [federal], 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 of this drama going on with the White House, something good has [come] out of this.”
Stay tuned for further updates.