On Sunday, April 28, 2013 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM in Woodland at the Celebration Center Church (100 Woodland Ave), the Vanguard Court Watch Council of Yolo County (VCWCYC) is inviting the public to come forward to express their concerns about the judicial system, providing testimony and giving personal accounts of contemporary cases in the Yolo County Court system.
“The public has an opportunity to tell of their experiences in the Yolo County judicial system. Experiences that normally are not covered in the newspaper,” said David Greenwald, Executive Director of Vanguard Court Watch. “The Council will take public comment, testimony from invited speakers, and then deliberate in closed session to determine our course of action.”
The Court Watch Council is comprised of twelve members, including eight from Woodland, Davis and West Sacramento, and advisors that include retired Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, Sacramento State University Professor James Hernandez, a gang expert who testified at the Gang Injunction Trial, and Attorney Anthony Palik.
The Vanguard Court Watch is a non-profit organization that researches and reports on legal issues in Yolo County. The Vanguard Court Watch was founded in 2010 and monitors the court system for common flaws and policies that might lead to wrongful convictions or lengthy sentences that are not proportionate with the crimes committed and often end up costing the county and taxpayers additional monies.
VCWCYC sends college interns into the courthouse to monitor court cases and report to the public in order to shine the light of scrutiny on a system often hidden from the public. Their mission is to give the public a better understanding of the major causes of injustice so that ultimately a better, fairer, and more just legal system can exist.
“Every week, 8 to 10 interns go into the court house to monitor cases in this county. It presents the students, many of whom go on to law school with a rather unique opportunity to view live cases,” said Greenwald. “However, approximately 90% of criminal matters never go to trial and we never have the opportunity to learn about the particulars. As we have learned in the Brian Banks case, just because someone pleads to a charge does not necessarily mean they committed that crime.”
The Vanguard Court Watch Council will be holding public meetings every fourth Sunday of the month at various locations in Yolo County to allow the public to come forward and share their stories and experiences. Goals of the Court Watch Council include: identification of problematic court cases to track; identification of alleged police incidents in Yolo County to potentially be investigated, and the identification of cases involving alleged discrimination or prejudice within Yolo County.
Vanguard Court Watch Council – Public Meeting
Sunday April 28, 2013
5 pm to 7 pm
Celebration Center Church
100 Woodland Ave