SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
Indybay About Contact Newsletter Calendar Publish Community

Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Police State and Prisons

Sun Mar 25 2012 (Updated 04/05/12) Gary Johnson Remains Behind Bars After Jury Finds Him Guilty for Sleeping
Gary Johnson Held on $5000 Bail for Sleep Protests at Santa Cruz County Courthouse Gary Johnson is a homeless activist who maintained a nightly protest at the Santa Cruz Courthouse from late December until earlier January against local and state laws which criminalize the basic human necessity to sleep. Johnson, who slept next to a sign which stated "6.36.010 647(e) A LEGACY OF CRUELTY", was arrested four times for "lodging" in violation of Penal Code 647(e) and "trespassing" PC 602(o) during his protests. "6.36.010" is the Santa Cruz Sleeping Ban, officially known as Municipal Code 6.36.010, which makes it a crime to sleep outdoors in Santa Cruz, with or without bedding, at any time between the hours of 11pm to 8:30am.

After witnessing Gary Johnson's arraignment on February 17th, Drew Lewis wrote, "The crime the prisoner was accused of was sleeping on the park bench in front of the County Courthouse. I sat there in awe and disbelief that our government was wasting so much of our tax dollars and police time prosecuting a homeless man with nowhere to sleep at night while allowing real criminals in the banking system to steal peoples' homes through foreclosure fraud and many other real crimes against our society."

A jury trial was held March 20th-22nd at the Santa Cruz Courthouse, the publicly owned building which Johnson slept in front of. About an hour after assembling, the jury returned a guilty verdict on all four counts of "illegal lodging". Johnson's attorney, Ed Frey, noted the jurors looked somber as they left. "In my opinion, [because of Judge John Gallagher's rulings] the jury had no idea what was going on."

Johnson has been incarcerated since January 6th for the crime of sleeping. Judge Gallagher slated the sentencing hearing for March 29th at 8:30 AM in Dept. 2.

Read more | SleepCrime Prisoner Faces Four Years in "Lodging" Trial | SleepCrime Defendant Denied Necessity Defense

Previous related coverage: imc_photo.gifimc_video.gifSheriff's Deputies Wake, Question and Photograph People at Peace Camp 2010 | imc_photo.gifAttorney Ed Frey Arrested on 35th Night of Santa Cruz Peace Camp 2010 | imc_photo.gifimc_audio.gifGary Johnson Held on $5000 Bail for Sleep Protests at Santa Cruz County Courthouse

06/24/15 UC Santa Cruz Students Who Blocked Highway Call for Court Support   Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/24/15 Multiple Demonstrations at US Conference of Mayors in San Francisco   Government & Elections
06/22/15 Family Seeks Justice After Beating by Salinas Police is Captured on Video   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/22/15 Santa Cruz Grand Jury Report Details Increasing Need for Emergency Homeless Shelters   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/22/15 Alvarez Organized Latino Social Workers, Fought for Immigration Reform   Labor & Workers | California
06/22/15 Marten’s Decline Attributed to Destruction of Old-Growth Forest Habitat by Logging   Environment & Forest Defense | North Coast
06/18/15 Vigil Blocks Intersection for Two Hours to Signify Length of OPD Siege that Led to Killing   Police State and Prisons
06/18/15 Santa Cruz Takes the Pledge to Mobilize at the Climate Mobilization Rally   Environment & Forest Defense | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/18/15 Demonstrators Say Serra used Kidnapping, Slavery to Forward "Radical Evangelical Movement"   Racial Justice | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/07/15 Police Officers Violently Arrest Man in the Middle of North Main Street in Salinas   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
06/04/15 Contingent Faculty Members Teach Over Half of the UC's Undergraduate Credit Hours   Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia