[Hpn] Sympathetic judge suspends campers' sentences

Becky Johnson Becky_Johnson@sbcglobal.net
Wed, 28 Nov 2001 08:40:40 -0800


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  This is from Yesterday's Sentinel.  Uslan has highlighted some of the =
positive aspects of the trial. We consider it a defeat and a disasterous =
ruling as the Judge denied the use of the necessity defense despite =
ample evidence presented and unrefuted by the prosecution that the =
defendants had no economic choice other than to camp.  The decision =
bodes poorly for Santa Cruz' estimated 1500 homeless population who are =
likely to be ticketed for sleeping, covering up with blankets, or for =
putting up a tent.  The decision, considered a political decision and =
not one based on either the facts or the law, gives the green light to =
police to ticket, arrest, and to destroy homeless dwellings.    -- Becky =
Johnson

  November 27, 2001=20


  Sympathetic judge suspends campers' sentences
  By RACHEL USLAN
  Sentinel staff writer=20
  SANTA CRUZ - Four Camp Paradise residents were found guilty Monday of =
violating the city's ban on camping, but none face penalties.=20

  Two of the defendants - Jeffery Jeppeson, who is HIV-positive, and =
Kathryn Phillips, who has diabetes and uses a wheelchair - had their =
sentences suspended because of their health and financial circumstances, =
Trial Commissioner Irwin Joseph said.=20

  The other two - Larry Templeton, the camp's leader, and Randy Sue =
Winchell - were ordered to perform eight hours of community service. But =
Joseph said Templeton and Winchell have "already performed at least that =
number of hours working for the good of the residents of Camp Paradise," =
and suspended their sentences, too.=20

  Joseph commended the residents of Camp Paradise, an illegal gathering =
of about 50 homeless people in an area along the San Lorenzo River.=20

  "The evidence is undisputed that the area was cleaned by its residents =
and appears to be in better condition now than it was before the =
campsite was established," Joseph said.=20

  But, he added, while the homeless camp may be a response to the lack =
of housing in Santa Cruz, it's an illegal response "without adequate =
defense" to the charges.=20

  Defense attorney Paul Sanford said he was pleased with the outcome =
because the larger purpose of the trial was highlight the plight of the =
city's homeless.=20

  "We are confident the city leaders will learn from this experience, =
and that we're moving toward a solution to homelessness," he said.=20

  At the center of the trial was whether there are alternatives to Camp =
Paradise.=20

  Sanford had argued last week that Assistant City Attorney Jennifer =
Pousho had failed to prove any legal options exist. Pousho responded by =
saying it was not her burden to do so.=20

  Joseph said Monday that "alternatives ... exist - they just don't =
appeal to the residents who have tasted a caring community," a comment =
that spurred loud murmurs from the crowd.=20

  Initially, eight Camp Paradise residents faced charges. But Joseph =
dismissed three cases because of insufficient evidence. Another =
defendant did not appear in court, and a warrant was issued for his =
arrest.=20

  Templeton said today the City Council will consider two pieces of land =
that may provide better alternatives to Camp Paradise. In the meantime, =
he said, "If an officer comes down and writes us more tickets, we'll be =
here (in court) again."=20

  Contact Rachel Uslan at ruslan@santa-cruz.com.=20



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<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>
<BLOCKQUOTE>
  <DIV><FONT size=3D2>This is from Yesterday's Sentinel.&nbsp; Uslan has =

  highlighted some of the positive aspects of the trial. We consider it =
a defeat=20
  and a disasterous ruling as the Judge denied the use of the necessity =
defense=20
  despite ample evidence presented and unrefuted by the prosecution that =
the=20
  defendants had no economic choice other than to camp.&nbsp; The =
decision bodes=20
  poorly for Santa Cruz' estimated 1500 homeless population who are =
likely to be=20
  ticketed for sleeping, covering up with blankets, or for putting up a=20
  tent.&nbsp; The decision, considered a political decision and not one =
based on=20
  either the facts or the law, gives the green light to police to =
ticket,=20
  arrest, and to destroy homeless dwellings.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; -- Becky=20
  Johnson</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3D"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"=20
  size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
  <DIV><FONT face=3D"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" =
size=3D2>November 27,=20
  2001 <BR><BR></DIV><!-- tablestart --><!-- tableend --><B>
  <H2>Sympathetic judge suspends campers&#8217; =
sentences</H2><B></B><B>By RACHEL=20
  USLAN</B><BR></B>Sentinel staff writer=20
  <P>SANTA CRUZ &#8212; Four Camp Paradise residents were found guilty =
Monday of=20
  violating the city&#8217;s ban on camping, but none face penalties.=20
  <P>Two of the defendants &#8212; Jeffery Jeppeson, who is =
HIV-positive, and Kathryn=20
  Phillips, who has diabetes and uses a wheelchair &#8212; had their =
sentences=20
  suspended because of their health and financial circumstances, Trial=20
  Commissioner Irwin Joseph said.=20
  <P>The other two &#8212; Larry Templeton, the camp&#8217;s leader, and =
Randy Sue Winchell=20
  &#8212; were ordered to perform eight hours of community service. But =
Joseph said=20
  Templeton and Winchell have "already performed at least that number of =
hours=20
  working for the good of the residents of Camp Paradise," and suspended =
their=20
  sentences, too.=20
  <P>Joseph commended the residents of Camp Paradise, an illegal =
gathering of=20
  about 50 homeless people in an area along the San Lorenzo River.=20
  <P>"The evidence is undisputed that the area was cleaned by its =
residents and=20
  appears to be in better condition now than it was before the campsite =
was=20
  established," Joseph said.=20
  <P>But, he added, while the homeless camp may be a response to the =
lack of=20
  housing in Santa Cruz, it&#8217;s an illegal response "without =
adequate defense" to=20
  the charges.=20
  <P>Defense attorney Paul Sanford said he was pleased with the outcome =
because=20
  the larger purpose of the trial was highlight the plight of the =
city&#8217;s=20
  homeless.=20
  <P>"We are confident the city leaders will learn from this experience, =
and=20
  that we&#8217;re moving toward a solution to homelessness," he said.=20
  <P>At the center of the trial was whether there are alternatives to =
Camp=20
  Paradise.=20
  <P>Sanford had argued last week that Assistant City Attorney Jennifer =
Pousho=20
  had failed to prove any legal options exist. Pousho responded by =
saying it was=20
  not her burden to do so.=20
  <P>Joseph said Monday that "alternatives ... exist &#8212; they just =
don&#8217;t appeal to=20
  the residents who have tasted a caring community," a comment that =
spurred loud=20
  murmurs from the crowd.=20
  <P>Initially, eight Camp Paradise residents faced charges. But Joseph=20
  dismissed three cases because of insufficient evidence. Another =
defendant did=20
  not appear in court, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.=20
  <P>Templeton said today the City Council will consider two pieces of =
land that=20
  may provide better alternatives to Camp Paradise. In the meantime, he =
said,=20
  "If an officer comes down and writes us more tickets, we&#8217;ll be =
here (in court)=20
  again."=20
  <P><I>Contact Rachel Uslan at <A=20
  href=3D"mailto:ruslan@santa-cruz.com?subject=3DSympathetic judge =
suspends campers&#8217; sentences">ruslan@santa-cruz.com</A>.=20
  </I>
  <P></FONT></P></BLOCKQUOTE></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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