Orange County Gang Injunction Suffers Major Defeat: ACLU

Categories: Crime-iny
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A federal judge ruled today that the Orange County District Attorney and Orange Police Department violated due process rights by denying hearings to those the agencies suspected of being gang members, dealing what the American Civil Liberties Union called "a major victory" to those legally opposing the OCDA's gang injunction strategy.

"Today's decision means that police and prosecutors can't impose special sets of rules on the people they decide are gang members, without providing a meaningful hearing as the Constitution requires," said Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California, in a statement issued by his office in Los Angeles


"Today's ruling re-affirms one of the bedrock principles of our system and our society: that before a individual's liberty is taken or restricted, the individual has a right to a hearing before a neutral decision-maker," added Joseph Ybarra of Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP, the firm that joined the ACLU in the suit.

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District Attorney Tony Rackauckas suffered a major blow today in his gang injunction strategy, says the ACLU.
A gang injunction is essentially a restraining order prohibiting gang members from things gang members are known to do, like congregating on their "turf," hanging out in public places or possessing tools that can be used as weapons. However, rather than holding hearings for each individual suspect, under a gang injunction entire groups of suspected members can be named under one order if so approved by a judge.

The OCDA, which has secured gang injunctions throughout the county, and Orange PD originally sought one in February 2009 against more than 100 alleged members of the Orange Varrio Cypress street gang, and an Orange County Superior Court judge signed off on it.

That created a 3.78-square-mile "gang-free zone" for suspected Orange Varrio Cypress gang members within Orange, where those named in the injunction could face immediate arrest. Within that area was the town's historic downtown, City Hall, a public library, Chapman University and a large hospital, the ACLU noted.

When more than 60 people named as suspected gang members appeared or tried to appear in court to argue that they were not gang members, prosecutors dismissed them from the case and obtained the injunction by default only against the gang and those individuals who never appeared in court. It was a short-lived victory as the OCDA and Orange PD served a new injunction on the same people who'd been dismissed from the original case. 

The ACLU and Tolles & Olson last year filed what would become known as Vasquez v. Rackaukas, which is named after plaintiff Manuel Vasquez (the other is Miguel Lara) and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

Not allowing the plaintiffs a chance to argue whether they were indeed gang members violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process, ruled the judge, who ordered police and prosecutors not to enforce the injunction against the more than 60 suspected Orange Varrio Cypress street gang members.
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10 comments
Vanezza
Vanezza

damm itz krazy how alot of people juzt blame everything on us when it kumz to zum bad but they dont see der are alot of great things kuz of uz

Kevin
Kevin

 As tempting as it is to allow the police to have free reign over the gangs that pollute the cities, its also necessary to obey the constitution. Just because its a group we deem unfit for society and want them out, we shouldn't give the cops anymore power than they already have, especially if that power violates the constitution because one innocent person isn't worth the arrest of 5 gangsters. There are plenty of ways to get them off the streets and arrest them lawfully, and proving them to be members in court shouldn't be difficult in most cases anyway. 

Biggie B
Biggie B

You really want to know why there are so many gangmembers? It's because humans survive in packs like wolve we hunt and tend to our own. And when I say our own I mean humans not races, now, if there was no means of "working" to "make a living" we would all be trading and growing whatever we need to live... Whatever happened to that beautiful age

daffodil
daffodil

Yeay! Link back to my stories Matt! Miss you guys! hugs, Daff

Raymundo Garcia
Raymundo Garcia

The judge was right in his ruling shit for brains OCDA was violating the law along with the first judge who signed off on the injunctions. Even though it sounds kind of nice to allow the police to arrest anyone they deem a gang member but it isn't think about it who's at the top of the list of the most corrupt people are in law enforcement the reason is we give them to much fucking power to wreck peoples lives and the peoples lives that they go after to wreck are the poor and the meddle class but they don't go after the rich because the rich have money to wreck the pigs life. Thanks to the republicans the poor is the fastest growing class of people in the US the US is turning into fucking Mexico were you only have to classes of people the filthy rich and the dirt poor.

Briansays
Briansays

they forum shopped a liberal federal judgethe 9th circuit is polluted with themgangs are no different than organized crime familiesRICO and related laws should applythey will be out killing in Oakland tonite to celebrate

Frankyjr33
Frankyjr33

U guys are too square, what the da tried is good for everyone. I'm a gangmember n I don't like that injunction thing but I know it only f&$%s with people that are doing wrong. FYI, if u see a group of gangmembers I bet u that someone has a gun or more than one

Truth Teller
Truth Teller

It is sad when people like you make incorrect statements without knowing the truth. The judge who issued the order in this case, Judge Fairbank, is a former federal prosecutor who was appointed to the state court by a Republican Governor and the federal court by a Republican president George W. Bush.

OxCx 1503
OxCx 1503

Why would Orange Varrio Cypress member kill in Oakland?

Raymundo Garcia
Raymundo Garcia

will shit that like asking why did the Hells Angles who are from Orange County CA go to Laughlin NV to shot it out with members of the Mongols who are also from CA.

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