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Indybay Feature

Latino Family Speaks Out Against Unjustified Life Sentence

Friday, February 01, 2008
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Event Type:
Press Conference
Location Details:
In front of the Hall of Justice (200 West Hedding Street San Jose, CA 95110)

Prominent San Jose Latino Family Holds Press Conference and Protest to Save Son from Unjustified Life Sentence

CONTACT: Rebecca Rivera (408) 596-1192 // Raj Jayadev (408) 757-5875

What: Lead by the Herrera family, a Latino family well known for their public service, Joshua Herrera's mother, Rebecca Rivera, with the support of elected officials, ethnic community leaders, and religious leaders will be making a public appeal to save Joshua from an undeserved life sentence in prison. Joshua, a 24-year-old registered E.M.T. and Mission College student, has a sentencing hearing on February 7th, 2008, and is facing a life sentence in prison due to a misuse of gang enhancement laws, despite having no criminal history, and in a case where no one was injured.

WHEN: Friday Feb.1st // Public Gathering at 11:30AM // Press Conference Begins at 12:00PM

WHERE: In front of the Hall of Justice (200 West Hedding Street San Jose, CA 95110)

Background: A young man with no criminal background is about to receive a life sentence for his first offense in a case where no one was hurt and the details surrounding this alleged crime are questionable at best. Joshua Herrera was charged and convicted with Home Invasion Robbery in 2006 and although he never even entered the home, he was charged under the Gang Enhancement Law as if he did. Joshua is a nationally registered EMT and was two weeks away from completing his first semester in the Fire Fighting Academy at Mission College when this incident occurred. But despite these facts, Joshua was continually referred to by the District Attorney's Office as a "hardened gang member" irrespective of the fact that he has no criminal background, no history of violence and not one Field Identification Card in the records of the San Jose Police Department to label him a gang member. As Rebecca Rivera says, "What is happening to Joshua is happening to young Latino men all over the County. The D.A.'s office is discriminately labeling our youth as hardened gang members, and sending them to prison for years, and it can no longer be tolerated and must come to a stop."

Rebecca Rivera: Mother of Joshua Herrera
Manuel Herrera: Trustee for the East Side Union High School District
Esau Herrera: Attorney at law and former board member with the East Side Union High School District and the Alum Rock Board of Trustees
Sam Herrera: Pastor Jubilee Church Minister
Joel Herrera: Former Principal at Evergreen Valley High School Administrator at Oak Grove School District
Humberto Herrera Jr.: Administrator at the Alum Rock School District
Assembly Member Joe Coto: (Has already sent letter of support, waiting for confirmation)
Patti Cortese: Evergreen Community Leader
City Councilmember David Cortese: (Has already sent letter of support, waiting for confirmation)
Richard Konda: Coalition for Justice and Accountability and Asian Law Alliance
Dorsey Nunn: All of Us or None (Statewide Civil Rights Organization)
David Madrid: Silicon Valley De-Bug
Many More in attendance...
Added to the calendar on Thu, Jan 31, 2008 10:50PM

Comments (Hide Comments)
by Seriously
At what point do we except blame as individuals. We talk about this poor young man that is being charged in connection to the crime. He is being charged pursuant to the gang enhancement. Well, lets be honest and ask ourselves the questions as the "devils avocate." How did he get charged with the gang enhancement in the first place. I studied 186.22 PC and its pretty clear that the prosecution has evidence linking him to gangs. Who were the people that he was arrested with and are they validated as gang members? Why was he there in the first place and how much responsibility is he taking. Rest assured it is unlikely that he was a poor kid caught up in the wrong place. Now that he is facing criminal charges the parents are finally starting to second guess all his friends that showed up in the red clothing that the Norteno gang member often wears. Or do they question it at all. Is the family all wearing "flag" of the Norteno gangs and only now is it significant enough to down play. San Jose is being controlled by gangs and kids are being killed. Its time the parents of these children start being parents and providing structure to ensure their children are not associated with these criminals. Once again sounds to me that there is a lot more to this story than this kid is innocent.
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