Drug Trafficker Who Help Found Death Row Records Released After Commutation


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A longtime inmate who assisted in the founding of Death Row Records walked out of a federal prison today, hours after his sentence for cocaine trafficking was commuted by then-President Donald Trump.

Michael “Harry-O'' Harris, 59, was released from custody at Federal Correctional Institution Lompoc after serving more than three decades behind bars for attempted murder and drug trafficking.

“Mr. Harris' federal prison sentence for involvement with drugs was unduly harsh,'' his attorney Bruce Zucker said. “I believe Mr. Harris should have been released from prison years ago, like other similarly situated folks were.

“This commutation is more than equitable, and it is long overdue.''

According to court filings, Harris was convicted in 1988 of the attempted murder of a Cook County, Illinois Department of Corrections police officer in October 1987.

The filings stated the officer was shot in the face, hit on the head and robbed at gunpoint of her shoulder bag, two rings and her badge.

The victim later identified Harris from a lineup as the person who attacked her.

Harris was released from state custody in October 2011 after the officer recanted and Harris was transferred to federal prison to begin serving a nearly 20-year federal sentence for a November 1990 drug trafficking conviction.

According to the website of the defunct Death Row Records, Solar Records CEO Dick Griffey and Harris “helped provide support and guidance as the label transitioned from Future Shock to Death Row Records.''

Harris was among 70 people to have their sentences commuted by Trump, who also pardoned 73 other people, according to a statement issued early Wednesday Washington time by the Office of the Press Secretary.

Photo: Getty Images


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