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.

Santa Clara County Public Defender or Public Pretender?

Molly O'Neil.jpg

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

Vehicle Habitation

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

Trayvon Martin bilde

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

Citizens_United

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

Jury nullification

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

Law Offices of Thomas Nolan

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…

Shocking new details emerge in the police killing of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr.

With the national spotlight already intensely focused on the murder of the unarmed African-American youth Trayvon Martin-age19—at the hands of a neighborhood vigilante– by the name of George Zimmerman—another equally troubling murder of an unarmed African–American male–68 year-old Kenneth Chamberlain—a former marine and corrections officer–this time by members of  the White Plains New York  Police Department–has started to…

Stripped down version of our 4th amendment

stripped search

Supreme court Justices approve Strip-Searches for Any Offense—no matter how minor, i.e. violation of a leash law—without requiring probable cause. The US Supreme Court today –in a 5-4 decision (Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington) —ripped at the heart of our of 4th Amendment –our right to be free of illegal…