Aram James

Aram James is a retired Santa Clara County deputy public defender—and a cofounder of the Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project (ACJP) –a grassroots legal advocacy organization located in San Jose, CA.

Tasers the most lethal of “non-lethal” alternatives

SAN FRANCISCO–In the wake of public outcry over the latest police shooting of an unarmed African American, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr has revived his previous call to equip his offers with electronic stun-guns, also called electronic control weapons (ECWs). With similar cases in Chicago, New York and Miami, New America Media’s Paul Kleyman…

Rapist Brock Turner’s probation delema

Before retiring as a public defender, Aram James handled thousands of probation violations. In his essay, he writes that to fully evaluate Judge Persky’s sentence of Brock Turner, the public needs to account for what being on probation really means to those convicted of a crime. Former Stanford student and potential Olympic swimmer Brock Turner,…

Santa Clara County Public Defender or Public Pretender?

I am sure most of you have seen today’s Daily Post [if not it will cost you] (Saturday Aug. 31-Sept 1, 2013). The headline reads: “Defender rips car camp ban …says criminalization of the homeless is not the answer” The defender in question is: Santa Clara County Public Defender Molly O’Neal. Although… I am sure…

Just Say No To Palo Alto’s Proposed Vehicle Habitation Ban

On August 5, 2013 the city council will consider passing an ordinance that would criminalize living in one’s vehicle here in Palo Alto. If passed and enacted… the anti-vehicle dweller ordinance would carry, upon conviction …for its violation…up to 6 months in the county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. After it appeared…

Outrageous verdict in the Zimmerman case

In light of the outrageous verdict in the Zimmerman case this evening, I have drafted a post script to my original article titled: Open letter to the family of Trayvon Martin and prosecutor Angela Cory. Over the last several weeks I have had a chance to see many hours of this trial on television and…

Citizens United and the Proposed Amendment to our Constitution

Dear Members of the Palo Alto City Council and All Concerned Citizens beyond: The Peninsula Peace and Justice Center–(I’m a long time member)–wants to move to amend the constitution to reverse the holding in the recent, U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v The Federal Elections Commission (2010) I am taking the opposite position and…

Why a fundamental understanding of jury nullification is so critical to taking back our criminal justice system

On April 19, 2012 New York federal Judge Kimba Wood dismissed an indictment against 80-year old Julian P. Heicklen for alleged jury tampering in the case against him for handing out materials to members of the public regarding the right of jurors to apply the historic doctrine of jury nullification. Nullification is the right of jurors…

Palo Alto criminal defense attorney Thomas Nolan–the art of cross-examination–and the public humiliation of PAPD’s April Wagner

Attorney Tom Nolan, you’re the man–well sort of!!   What’s the old saying re cross–examination–something like–cross–examination is the greatest engine ever designed to secure the truth!  And–if my courtroom recollections and observations of you over the years–serves me correctly–Tom Nolan–you are one of the best in the business at digging the truth out of even the most…