[Hpn] Longer version of "Billy Won!" - Sacramento Eichorn case

john macpherson nyceguy50@yahoo.com
Thu, 8 Aug 2002 21:36:50 -0700 (PDT)


In Austin, we used the freedom to travel clause as the
cause under the 14th amendment and won. Nationwide
these laws have been overturned. It is time we use
punitive measures against any city that continues to
criminalize the homeless. You have cited a false cause
for their dismissal. They write the rules and know
what they are writing is unconstitutional for the past
two hundred years, when the bill of rights were
adopted. They are the criminally negligent. 
 It is the city managers responsibility to care for
their indigent. They are liable to care for their
"property." We need humane treatment and nave
the tools to demand it. We the homeless use the
Biological and Statistical LAWS of fair and equitable
distribution for our living arrangement world wide.
Reaganomics plan was to permit the regions to devise a
means to support those that need the assistance of the
government under Community Development Block Grants
thus desolving the need of Welfare, as a 20 year stop
gap measure demanded by congress TANF was born. The
first step was to through out the mentally ill that
posed no threat to society or selves. Folks the 20
year deadline has gone. The intent was to trim the fat
government budgets, and reverse deficit spending.IT
DIDN'T WORK! The hope of it ever working is lost we
are now in a wartime postured America!!!!



 
--- paula farrell <paula_95814@yahoo.com> wrote:
> This is article I wrote for Homeward Street
Journal,
> as unedited by our editor.  Just wished to get
the
> information out to you.
> Paula Lomazzi
> 
> Billy McManus was cited for misdeamenor
> illegal-camping in Sacramento near the American
> River
> Parkway on February 25, March 6 and March 14,
2002. 
> Billy pleaded not guilty to all three charges. 
It
> went to jury trial.  He won on the February 25th
> charge--his attorney using the necessity defense.
> 
> Traditionally, the courts have dropped illegal
> camping
> charges for anyone asking for a jury trial,
> reasoning
> that it would cost too much money or that time
had
> been served.
> 
> McManus' defense attorney, Kelly Tanalepy, used a
> "necessity defense", citing a 1998
appellate case
> that
> overturned a similar charge against a homeless
man,
> James W. Eichorn of Santa Ana.  Santa Barbara,
also,
> upheld the "Eichorn decision", which it
is now
> called.
>  A necessity defense is allowable only when
evidense
> shows the defendant violated a law to prevent a
> greater harm. Six criteria must be met, 1) to
> prevent
> a significant evil [Tanalepy stated not sleeping
> would
> be significantly evil and be eminently harmful], 
2)
> with no adequate alternative [John Foley of
> Self-Help
> Housing, Joan Burke of Loaves and Fishes and
others
> testified about the lack of affordable housing
and
> shelter beds and lack of accomodations for his
> dogs],
> 3) without creating a greater danger [he camped
in a
> hidden spot by Camp Pollock where he would be
safer
> than if he stayed downtown.  Seeking alternatives
> would put him more in danger, keeping him walking
> around all night, not sleeping, vulnerable to
> attack],
> 4) with a good-faith belief in the necessity,
[Billy
> explained his reasoning.  He decided to go away
from
> tourist areas, away from town.  He did not knock
on
> everyone's doors, pan handle on freeways], 5)
that
> the
> belief was reasonable [Arrests and citations for
> camping has drastically increased, letting him
know
> that shelter beds would most likely not be
> available],
> and 6) that the defendant did not substantially
> contribute to the emergency [Billy works as a
social
> worker, helping guests at Loaves & Fishes. 
He has
> actively tried to get housing (John Foley
> testified)]
> 
> Deputy City Attorney Lan Wang said it was a
simple
> case, Billy is guilty.  Wang said Billy chooses
to
> be
> homeless.  Tanalepy reminded the jury that no one
> thinks its fun to sleep out in 35 degree weather
or
> on
> an evening when it rained an inch that day
> (conditions
> of 2 of the days cited).  Wang told the jury that
> Billy was playing on their sympathies.  Wang said
> that
> Billy should save his money to get a place [of
> course
> it was brought out in court that Billy made
anywhere
> from $200 to $400 maximum per month.]  A strong
> emphasis for the prosecution was the
environmental
> damage homeless people have been causing on the
> American River Parkway [testimony from Rangers
and
> police mentioned trash, VCR's hidabeds, shopping
> carts, cans, liquor bottles, human waste, tampons
> and
> syringes they had to clean up; fire pits and
> platforms
> dug; eldeberry bushes hacked; abandoned animals;
> robbery and rape occurring far from their patrol
> areas].
> 
> There were arguments about Billy's 3 dogs.  Wang
> said
> that if Billy gave up his dogs, he'd have a
better
> chance of finding shelter or housing.  Tanalepy
> pointed out that one of the problems along the
> Parkway, mentioned, were the abandoned animals,
> which
> would not be a good move for Billy.  Billy
considers
> his dogs as his family.  To give up his dogs for
a 2
> week maximum stay in a shelter would not be much
> benefit.
> 
> So the jury went off to decide the verdict after
the
> closing arguments on August 5 (Monday afternoon),
> and
> did not arrive at the verdict until August 8
> (Thursday
> before noon).  Verdict came back unanimously that
> Billy was not guilty on the February 25th charge.

> The
> March 6 and March 14 charges were hung juries,
one
> juror not agreeing with the others on the not
guilty
> verdict. Testimony from a staff member of the
Winter
> Overflow Shelter that said there were vacancies
in
> March.  Attorney Tanalepy had pointed out the
fact
> that though there may have been vacancies from
time
> to
> time in the shelters, it was unrealistic to
expect
> Billy to visit each one, each night in the hopes
of
> a
> vacancy, especially considering the fact that
there
> were so many homeless people on any one given
night,
> it would seem unlikely he'd get in one. 
> 
> 
>
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