Occupy Sacramento lawyers say City of Sacramento ‘grudge vendetta’ violates due process rights
Lawyers for Occupy defendants, who had criminal charges dismissed in December, plan to make public what they call a new, unconstitutional scheme by the City of Sacramento, to penalize the same defendants without a trial and due process rights guaranteed by law.
The group will be at the Sacramento Superior Courthouse to disclose the details of their information.
The City is using “administrative penalties” to “convict” the same defendants whose misdemeanor criminal charges were dismissed “in the interest of justice” by the City the day before criminal trials were set to begin in December. Now the City is finding them guilty without a trial.
Occupy Pro bono lawyers say it is “double jeopardy” under the U.S. and California Constitutions, and also, the City’s actions to find Occupy defendants guilty by “tribunal.” This effectively denies their 5th Amendment Due Process rights.
Jeff Kravitz, a Sacramento civil rights lawyer, said the City is engaging in a “grudge vendetta.”
“The City is wasting taxpayer money in a grudge vendetta against veterans, single mothers, homeowners and struggling middle class families who are guilty of nothing but expressing their concerns about our nation. First, the City violates the First Amendment rights of these people, and now the City violates their Fifth Amendment rights of due process,” said Kravitz, who represents an Iraq veteran.
There have been 110 arrests since Oct. 6 at Cesar Chavez Park for a misdemeanor violation of a curfew ordinance – free speech ends at 11 p.m. weekdays and 12 midnight, according to city code. The City has failed to convict any of those arrested. About 27 cases remain in the courts.