10 entries

Articles by Aram James

Don't Judge Persky Decision, or Any Sentence, in a Vacuum

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.

Aram James: Questions for Palo Alto Police Regarding the Christmas Day Officer Involved Shooting Death

On December 25th, 2015, Palo Alto Police shot and killed a 31-yer-old man near or on the premises of a mental health hospital. The department has not shared critical information regarding the incident, but Palo Alto resident and civil rights advocate Aram James has submitted a series of questions to the department -- several requiring an answer within an alotted time due to requirements of a California Public Records Act request. Here are those questions.

Palo Alto to Enforce the Largest Mass Displacement of People in History of the City

Buena Vista Mobile Park is currently the home of roughly 400 Palo Alto residents. But the largely Latino community is soon to be removed from their home due to the property owners closing the park, and the City Council's agreement to the closure. Aram James writes the impending removal amounts to "ethnic cleansing."

Darren Wilson Walks, Begging the Question: Will Cops Ever Be Held to Account?

With the no indictment decision of officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Mike Brown, the country is left to wonder: Is it even possible for police to be held accountable in the courts? Attorney and civil rights leader Aram James explores the history and potential future.

Should Palo Alto Build a New Shelter for the Homeless?

Palo Alto resident and civil rights advocate Aram James contends that given the closing of the Sunnyvale Armory, the time is right for Palo Alto to become a leader in the housing first model.

Palo Alto to Decide Whether Sleeping in Car Should Result in Jail Sentence

On Monday August 5th, Palo Alto City Council will vote on the controversial "anti-vehicle dweller ordinance," an effort many say criminalizes homelessness. Commentator Aram James is part of a larger effort to stop the ban, and says the ordinance contradicts the history of civil rights values that have been espoused by elected officials. A version of this article originally ran in the Daily Post.

Zimmerman Verdict Exposes Systemic Racism in Jury Selection

Former public defender Aram James has seen the inner-workings of the courtroom for decades, and has long accused the system being inherently flawed. The ZImmerman verdict, he writes, is emblematic of systemic issues such as racial bias in jury selection that must be addressed if justice is ever to be achieved for black life like Trayvon Martin.

Take Back Our Criminal Justice System, Use Jury Nullification

Aram James, former Public Defender, points out one rarely discussed legal right given to juries when they feel application of the law does not meet a true standard of fairness or justice.

Ray Samuels: A Police Chief and Leader Who Championed Rights For All

Ray Samuels, former Newark Police Chief, passed away recently at the age of 58. Aram James, a civil rights organizer and former public defender, found a friend and trusted ally in Samuels through their common campaign against the Tasers, and shares his memories of the man he calls both a friend and inspiration.

Commemorative Poster Art for De-Bug's Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project

An artistic rendering of De-Bug's Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project.
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