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Frey Released from Jail on Bail Pending Appeal; Gary Johnson Still Locked Up
Attorney and activist Ed Frey's bail for release pending appeal of a six month sentence was reduced on Friday from $50,000 to $110. D.A. Dabkowski and Judge Gallagher "discovered" the standard bail for 647e "lodging" was $110, around 1/500th of the bail originally demanded. Why the two well-paid judicial bureaucrats hadn't noticed this on June 12th was still a mystery. On that date angry at Frey's refusal to take probation, pay a fine, and/or agree to report to jail, the judge had the two locked of and led away in handcuffs (which they were still in--shackled hand and foot--when they reappeared Friday morning in Courtroom 2). Johnson presents her account and some background.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Ed Frey's Bail reduced from $50,000 to $110\
Santa Cruz, Ca. -- Considerably regretful, Judge John Gallagher agreed to a bail reduction pending appeal for Attorney, Ed Frey, jailed directly from court last June 10th on a 6 month sentence. "As you know, I had no choice at the time," Gallagher told Peter Leeming, Ed's attorney for his motion to reconsider sentencing.
Gallagher sounded as if he was willing to do what was legally within his means to do, which wasn't much. He does not have jurisdiction to reduce his own 6 month sentence. Only an appeal can do that. He doesn't have jurisdiction to impose probation since Ed turned down the 3 years of probation offered and no counter-offer was made.
Leeming argued that there is very little case law in this area, but he did find a few cases where extraordinary circumstances existed.
"I was very moved by the circumstances in Ed's declaration," Gallagher explained. "Let's see what we can do to get him back to care for his responsibilities to his family and his clients."
The scene was very different from June 10th, in which each side dug in, unwilling to concede any point or position. Ed declaring even after a jury conviction that he had done nothing wrong and was being punished "for asserting our rights."
Now, wearing green jailhouse clothes and chained at the wrists and ankles, Ed appeared calm and compliant. However, when he asked to speak, it was only to emphasize his lack of funds.
Gallagher asked DA Sara Dabkowski what bail she recommended.
"The standard bail schedule would be acceptable," she replied. Gallagher looked this up.
"The bail schedule for 647 (e) is $110," Gallagher announced. Wasn't this bail for 647 (e) last June 10th? Gallagher had issued $50,000 bail! And Ed is neither a flight risk nor has he missed any court appearances.
And why was bail for COLLETTE CONNOLLY and ARTHUR BISHOFF set at $2500? That's 23 times what the courts have set.
Also appearing in court was GARY JOHNSON, also sentenced to 6 months in jail and not qualifying for work furlough or able to claim "extraordinary circumstances." Ed Frey, chained and shackled stood when JOHNSON stood, much to the chagrin of the bailiff.
"But I'm representing MR. JOHNSON!" Ed protested. Then he said, "Your honor, I have no idea what this hearing is about."
Gallagher called City Attorney CAIO ARELLANO to the podium and told him "I asked you to appear to tell us the status of the other infraction charges against Mr. Johnson."
Arrellano asked that they be dismissed. Gary agreed and all 21 infraction citations against Gary Johnson were dismissed. However, he remains jailed on a 6 month sentence.
Outside court, a beaming Diana, Ed's wife, collected tens and twenties offered up by Ed's supporters to raise the $110 quickly. As she prepared to drive to Watsonville to bail Ed out of the Rountree Medium Security Facility where he is housed, she expressed great relief. "It's been a long two weeks."
MORE DETAILS AND BACKGROUND
More photos and comments on this story can be found at http://beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/2011/06/ed-freys-bail-reduced-from-50000-to-110.html .
Becky also reprinted portions of a Santa Cruz Weakly story from last fall with her own commentary which examined attorney Ed Frey in greater detail (though not necessarily greater depth): http://beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/2011/06/ed-freys-bail-reduced-from-50000-to-110.html
Two earlier articles by Becky on the jail-for-sleep-protest punishment of Frey and Johnson: http://beckyjohnsononewomantalking.blogspot.com/2011/06/free-gary-johnson-free-ed-frey.html
My own discussion of the subjection: "Homeless activist and lawyer jailed for six months for Sleeping Protest" is at
A follow-up article "Crushing Homeless Critics at City Council & on the Streets: Coonerty to the Supreme Court" is at
The brief and inaccurate Sentinel blurb burying the latest judicial flimflam can be found at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_18351536?IADID
Becky's commentary on Cathy Kelly's slim Sentinel slashjob:
"Ed's "misdemeanor charges" were for SLEEPING. He was convicted of "illegal lodging", PC 647 (e).
"The "so-called Camping Ban" where sleep and blankets are prohibited is under the section in the Municipal code labeled "Camping prohibited."
"The protesters at Peace Camp 2010 were protesting the part of the Camping prohibited section which bans
sleep (a.k.a. the Sleeping Ban) and the part that bans the use of a blanket out of doors at night (a.k.a. the Blanket Ban).
"Calling it "so-called" implies that it's not real. It's very real, with officers writing about 60 citations a month,
almost all against homeless people who have no other choice. Sleeping is also illegal inside a vehicle or in a building such as an office or business. In Santa Cruz, we have emergency, walk-in shelter for less than 8% of those without shelter. Ed argued that a ban on sleeping for these people is cruel and unusual punishment and counterproductive.
"He was sentenced on June 10th, not June 9th to six months in jail when he refused 400 HOURS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE. Had he been convicted under the Sleeping Ban, he would have faced only a maximum of 8 hours of community service. The actual bail schedule for PC 647 (e) is $110, and apparently always has been $110, even on June 10th. Frey and the protesters of Peace Camp 2010 object to arresting people for sleeping when they have no other choice. The Sleeping Ban applies to BOTH public AND private property.
"Frey returned home Friday afternoon to greet his brand-new grandson, born while he was incarcerated."
NOTE FROM NORSE: Gary Johnson will likely also be freed on bail pending appeal if he chooses to appeal his conviction. I was told both Johnson and Frey have until July 12 to file a notice of appeal.