Orange County Gangster Jesus Aguirre Hoped California Supreme Court Would Save Him. It Didn't

JesusAguirreFacebook.jpg
Aguirre: Could a smile like mine belong to a thug?
To his family, friends and supporters, Orange County's Jesus Aguirre is a victim of a cruel criminal justice system determined to put an innocent teenager in California's toughest prison without any justification.

Aguirre's 2012 conviction prompted Superior Court Judge William R. Froeberg to issue a life in prison punishment for an attempted murder that occurred when the defendant was 16 years old.

"Gang activity is a no win activity," Froeberg said at the hearing. "Society won't tolerate it and I won't tolerate it."

But Aguirre's supporters argue the defendant was never a gangster and didn't try or succeed in killing anybody.

They created a Facebook page, produced a documentary, lobbied reporters, handcrafted placards ("Free Jesus!" and "Stop criminalizing our youth") and held numerous public rallies to raise public awareness. They also fought the conviction at a California Court of Appeal in Santa Ana and, in February, lost. The following month they failed to win a rehearing.

They then took their outrage to the California Supreme Court, but that judicial body looked at the case file in April and this week announced there are no issues worthy of formal review.

Despite all the protests, the decision wasn't surprising. As demonstrated by multiple Eastside Buena Park gang tattoos adorning his flesh and several prior police encounters in gang situations, Aguirre was a hoodlum. On the day of the attempted murder of an unarmed, rival gangster, he followed orders to go to an apartment complex to flex the gang's territorial muscle with an ambush. He retrieved a gun loaded with birdshot and handed it to the shooter, a fellow gangster. The shooter repeatedly fired on the man but didn't succeed in killing him. Police eventually found a fleeing Aguirre, slyly placed him in a cell with one of his friends and secretly recorded him confess for hours to his role in the attempted murder. When he had chances to renounce his gang ties before his sentencing, he refused. The actual shooter escaped charges because he wasn't caught implicating himself on a recording.

An expensive appellate lawyer hired by the Aguirre family reasoned the hoodlum had gone to the apartment complex to shoot a different person, wounded the wrong man with the gun blasts, but shouldn't be charged with attempted murder because he didn't have the necessary premeditation to kill the actual victim.

The appellate court justices--David A. Thompson, Richard D. Fybel and Richard Aronson--forcefully rejected that line of attack on the conviction as the legal equivalent of a desperate Hail Mary pass.

Like it or not, Californians years ago decided that joining a violent criminal street gang and participating in a potentially fatal shooting (even one as ridiculously stupid as this one) means the surrender of decades of your life.

Upshot: Aguirre--who lost his freedom at the age of 16 and is now a 20-year-old resident of the notorious Pelican Bay State Prison--one of the state's most dangerous, depressing penitentiaries--can't even ask for parole until about 2060.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.

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39 comments
mixed_won
mixed_won

a gang member goes to prison.. isn't that what he signed up for?  

like going to the army and being sent to war.. 

The life he chose....

chezvern
chezvern

How did Scott determine it unworthy of mention that the same February appeals court hearing that upheld the conviction ordered a re-sentencing due to "ineffective assistance of counsel?"

That hearing will be July 18, and a lot of us are rooting for time served.  It seems like the three or four years he's done are enough for what really should have been charged as a JUVENILE ACCESSORY to ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON.


Come to the Orange Juice Blog, sometimes we have the more complete story.

llozano784
llozano784

If he was rich, white and drunk driving and killed 4 people he could plead afluenza.  Or if he is the leader of a country and invades another country under false pretenses and then kills hundreds of thousands he goes scott free and a presidential library.  

JoeArpaioFan
JoeArpaioFan

Piece of shit deserved no break.  Judging by his photo, it won't be long before he becomes somebody's bitch when he gets to prison.

Hitman_Corleone
Hitman_Corleone

He only has 46 years more to go before eligible for parole! A walk in the park for a tough gang member!

thatacekidd
thatacekidd

Lol at all these "the punishment is harsh" and "well, he didnt kill anyone" comments. Have any of you seen the repercussions that being classified as a gang member has in the state of california? His refusal to denounce his gang ties, and well thought out ink, was the bullseye the prosecution needed to fry him. Now guess what, the prosecution was successfully able to classify you as a gang member to the court, and the actions you took were for the advancement of your street gang. Case closed. Punishment fits the crime. It doesn't pay to be a gangster in california. Act like a gangster, and the court will show you who has the bigger cajones.

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776

and the dems still want to blame everyone but the actual criminals


well not this time


JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

The California Supreme Court couldn't save Jesus, but now maybe Jesus can save Jesus

mad99
mad99

that's funny

if you Google  Ramón “Knuckles” Magaña, the guy they tried to kill, you'll see he's now dead shot by someone else!


throwing up a westside for all my homies!


JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

The Facebook page says "Justice for Jesus A. Aguirre Jr." and thanks to Judge Froeberg et al., it was administered...

franklin
franklin

Some random thoughts regarding this case...

If this 16 year old had gotten a BJ from a hot 20 year old on that very morning he would have been a victim of Child Sexual Abuse and prosecuted and sentenced to life as an adult in adult prison for what he did later that very day.

How he could be convicted of murder and given a life sentence (first parole in 45 years!) for, at the age of 16, handing a gun filled with bird shot to a friend, who then later traveled some distance to minorly wound another person in the buttocks, while 6 police officers in uniform pounding Kelly Thomas with their fists and hard objects into a gooey pulp over 10-15 minutes, on video, either never get charged or walk away free leaves me questioning the very core of justice.

What a joke it has become.

Dweezle
Dweezle

I wonder if the child would have received the same sentence had he been from Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, or Yorba Linda/Anaheim Hills? 

Another thought, a 14 year old child gets involved with a gang and is party to a crime, People scream & shout "Try him as an adult" & such things

a 17 year old male child has sex with an adult female weekly for months, then suddenly is caught and all the screaming is at the woman, and the 17 year old "Is da Mannn" with his friends. My logic might be poorly expressed but just food for thought.



mad99
mad99

he was on the road to pelican bay anyway... 16 or 20 or 23 does it matter?

barraganfj
barraganfj

From the Voice of OC: (Nov 2013)

"As city leaders in Orange grapple with losing a federal lawsuit over the enforcement of a gang injunction, they’ll likely be weighing whether to ask District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to cover the millions of dollars in legal costs for the case.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that Rackauckas and the city violated the U.S. Constitution by, among other restrictions, banning suspected gang members from being in public after 10 p.m. without giving them a chance to show that they weren’t actually in a gang."

http://www.voiceofoc.org/oc_central/orange/article_77c0e26e-4826-11e3-9f9c-0019bb2963f4.html


barraganfj
barraganfj

The appeals defense attorney acknowledged that Jesus did commit a wrong, and that he could be held accountable, and also pointed out, that at most he should receive a 6 yr sentence.  


(Under the current Gang Injunctions which are being challenged and portions of them ruled unconstitutional in OC, the sentence is "enhanced" resulting in disproportionate penalties.   For example, just recently in Huntington Beach, a 16 yr murdered another, but received a 12 year sentence - in the case of Jesus Aguirre Jr, my understanding is that there was no murder or major injuries and there is a Life Sentence given.) 



Many of the police encounters alleged to had been had by Jesus Aguirre Jr were for riding a bicycle without a helmet; for writing with chalk on the side-walk; and for possessing cigarettes (tobacco).


My understanding is that the CA Appeals court ruled "favorably" on one count, and "negatively" on another.

1)  They AFFIRMED the conviction; but

2)  the Appeals Court also REVERSED and ruled that Jesus Aguirre Jr. had received INCOMPETENT legal representation, which resulted in the LIFE-Sentence.

They kicked it back for a RE-SENTENCING.


It is believed that the key issue is that the Life Sentence does not fit the crime (especially with lack of proper legal representation); and especially not for a 16 yr minor, who apparently had issues with impulsiveness (ADHD), and had also saved a neighborhood kid from drowning.


1)  Could Jesus Aguirre Jr. become a "worst of the worst"? . . . possibly yes, possibly no.


2)  Was he already the "worst of the worst" deserving of a life sentence?  


3)  Does this 16 yr old who was making mistakes, rank up there with sadistic and predatory serial killers who have killed many and without remorse, and also end up receiving life sentences?


For me, I believe in holding people strictly accountable and with severe consequences for their negative actions. . . but I also want to know that the Crime fits the Punishment; otherwise, we may get Security but at too high of a price for society; and we may get Legal Rulings that Lack Justice; and that in the long run may make us less safe or make its too costly by diverting our limited law enforcement resources.


Paco Barragán

My opinions only and not those of any group



JohnnyDiablo
JohnnyDiablo

Five or six decades in The Joint will do this young man a world of good.


He'll be away from distractions - such as decent food, women, forty-ounce beers, etc - which should free up his time to enable him to reflect upon his numerous and severe shortcomings.


If he applies himself, he'll take advantage of the secure, structured environment State Prison provides to better himself, perhaps picking up a useful skill, such as washing laundry or scrubbing toilets.


Being young, his fellow inmates will be happy to step forward and volunteer to mentor this boy through various hands-on methods.  And in State Prison, he'll be subject to a wonderful aroma therapy, more-or-less 24/7.


Pelican Bay is the perfect place for an individual with Aguirre's character to grow, thrive, and blossom to his fullest potential.


I don't know what anybody's complaining about.

AlmostKorean
AlmostKorean

First time I have agreed with all the comments, except I don't really feel sorry for him. meheecan hit the nail on the head.....

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

If you don't want to be "harshly" & "wrongly" sentenced to life in prison. There's one simple way of avoiding it .... don't join a gang!

BBAIN
BBAIN

What were they thinking using birdshot?  A harsh sentence, yes, but you break the law, you pay the price.

imgrammadee
imgrammadee

He was guilty by association and he was old enough at 16 to know right from wrong and he made the WRONG choice.  You do the crime, you do the time. 

949girl
949girl topcommenter

It some way I feel bad for him and in another way I don't.  I definitely think he got a very harsh sentence being that he didn't kill anyone and he was 16 but what was his intention by handing someone a loaded gun?  Hopefully this is a lesson for other gang members but I doubt it.

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

He's pretty.  

meheecan-cris-doner
meheecan-cris-doner

what a pendejo. this kid has dumbass across his forehead. it seems like he has family support, but yet got involved in the gang life. i have more sympathy for kids that grow up without much guidance, but God damn, when your family hires an attorney for you, you know the person had it good at home.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@chezvern Let's see: who's gotten more free people out of prison—Scott, or your shit blog? The only thing people can get out of you is a rambling kiss-ass.

chezvern
chezvern

Also how did Scott get "2060" for the first time he can ask for parole?  I'm reading the court opinion from February:  "There is no dispute that Aguirre will be eligible for parole when he reaches 49."  We'd like it to be this year of course, but still that's 2042, not 2060.  Does Scott just have mean fantasies about the worst possible happening to this kid?

Hitman_Corleone
Hitman_Corleone

@mad99, Your right that loser magna is dead! So we got rid of 5 losers in one shot! Jesus, Magna and his partner and the 2 losers who shot and killed them! What a great day for getting rid of assholes!

RIPRamonMagana
RIPRamonMagana

@mad99 I don't understand what's so funny about Ramon being murdered. You are a sick individual. Ramon left behind 4 little babies who will never know their father. RIP Ramon Magana.

fratdawgg23
fratdawgg23

@franklin Because Americans conflate 'justice' with 'vengeance' and vengeful long prison sentences will teach young punks (especially non-white punks) lessons. 

Re: Kelly Thomas' killers:  Americans have a propensity to deify police officers *and* - in this case - they lacked the empathy to identify with or even consider the victim, e.g., Kelly Thomas.

awrex8
awrex8

If you cant do the time... dont do the crime..

gabrielsanroman
gabrielsanroman topcommenter

@barraganfj There's no gang injunction on Eastside Buena Park, so I'm trying to see your point here, Paco.

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

"Your opinions" alright. "Your opinions" on behalf of other groups!

JohnnyDiablo
JohnnyDiablo

@barraganfj


Jesus and his crew went out to kill someone.  It's only by The Grace Of God nobody got killed, but it wasn't for their lack of trying.


Botching a murder does not merit a break.


His punishment is just.


Perhaps he can do some good still, by serving as a bad example.  But he'll have to do it inside The Joint.



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