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by repost of msg from wearealex.org
Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009 at 11:48 PM
Alex Sanchez, Peacemaker and Homies Unidos co-founder, denied bail on Mon 10/19/09
It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that Alex Sanchez was denied bail today. Our belief in his innocence remains firm and we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure a fair trial.
We thank you for your support and contributions to the We Are Alex movement.
ALEX SANCHEZ UNJUSTLY DENIED BAIL
In a case that will have major ramifications for peacemaking work across the country, Alex Sanchez was unjustly denied bail this afternoon. Peacemaking is now on trial and it is clear that Alex Sanchez has no chance of receiving a fair trial under Judge Manuel L. Real.
Judge Real denied Alex's bail because of the government's claims that:
Alex is a flight risk because the overwhelming community support proves that Alex has the resources to flee the country.
Alex is a threat to society because his work as a peacemaker includes interacting with gang-involved individuals. As such, the government's interpretation of Alex's work as a peacemaker alleges that it is equivalent to criminal activity.
Under the RICO law, Alex is guilty until proven innocent. The burden to prove Alex is innocent beyond a reasonable doubt lies with the defense. Under RICO, the government does not have to provide actual evidence that Alex committed the alleged crimes, but simply must convince the judge and jury of the possibility that Alex conspired to commit the crimes.
The facts are:
Over $2.5 million in sureties and property deeds have been raised by the community. In the case that Alex was to flee, those who put up their own property and money would lose their property and money as well as be sued by the court. This demonstrates the community's trust that Alex would attend every court hearing, not assist him in fleeing.
Over 120 letters of support, including those from former federal prosecutor Robert Garcia and Tom Parker, the past head of the FBI in Los Angeles, prove that Alex is not a flight risk. In fact, many of the letters specifically speak to Alex not being a flight risk or a danger to the community, contrary to Judge Real's statements today that "not one letter spoke to his flight risk."
Judge Real denied Father Gregory Boyle, one of the leading gang experts in the country and the Executive Director of the largest gang intervention agency in the country, the opportunity to speak to the contents of the government's wiretaps and the explanation of Alex's role as a peacemaker within these conversations. Judge Real deemed his analysis as "irrelevant" and did not allow him to even speak. This would have allowed for an accurate interpretation of the wiretaps and the nuances of the work.
Community-based gang intervention is proven to be one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to stop crime and create healthy and safe communities. Peacemaking work increases the safety of the overall community by directly reducing gang violence by interacting with gang-involved individuals. Alex is on trial for mediating conflict between gang members. Alex prevented a gang war, not contributed to one.
We will not be defined by law enforcement's misguided definitions and perceptions of the validity of our peacemaking work. There is a fundamental lack of understanding of this critical work. The denial of bail today has increased our commitment to raising awareness of proven violence reduction approaches. We continue to have an unwavering belief in Alex's innocence and we are gravely concerned that a fair trial can not occur under these circumstances. RICO, Judge Real, and our country's court system have denied justice once again. We vow to keep fighting and to continue the momentum of We Are Alex.
we are not deterred. we are committed.
we will continue to fight until alex is free.
we are alex.
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