Vanguard Court Watch Expansion
*Expose police and prosecutorial misconduct
*Bring transparency and accountability to the court system
* Prevent wrongful convictions BEFORE THEY HAPPEN
* Expand Court Watch in Yolo County
* Launch Court Watch in Sacramento and San Francisco
What we need: We start with a campaign for $5000 in seed money - $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $1000 or $5000
The last few years we have seen the issue of police misconduct, officer-involved shootings of unarmed men take the headlines. But behind the scenes these are aided and abetted by unaccountable prosecutors.
The court room is the frontline for a lot of these legal battles but for the most part the media do not cover any but the most high profile cases.
Outside of a few high profile cases, the typical court case gets zero coverage and in most locations, even when there is coverage, it is not critical and detailed coverage.
The result is that the police and prosecution often get away with all sorts of misconduct because the public has limited access to courtrooms de facto.
The vast majority of trials are not coverage and more than 97 percent of all criminal matters are resolved before even going to trials.
The public is unaware of the true nature of criminal and court proceedings.
The answer to this is a Court Watch Program. Starting in 2010, in Yolo County, the Vanguard Court Watch has sent college and other interns into the courthouse to monitor cases and hearings. They enter data into monitor forms and write articles that posted on the Vanguard website.
The truth is Yolo County suffers an imbalanced prosecutorial system. The county is middle-tier in terms of crime rate and yet third in the state in per capita felony convictions prison sentences and tops in the state in per capita felony trials.
People sent to prison for minor offenses, wrongfully convicted, or the victim of cash for convictions.
It is our belief that by shining a light on the court system, we can protect the rights of the accused and prevent wrongful convictions and prosecutorial misconduct. It is our belief that the court watch program needs to be expanded to every county in California and every state in the nation.
This year we are looking to take the court watch program to the next level. Professionalize it. And then take it into Sacramento and San Francisco Counties.
We need your help - if everyone who wants to take our justice system back will donate just $5 or $10 or whatever you can afford - we will have the beginning of the money that we need to hire professional reporters and full time supervisors to augment the internship program that will be maintained.
See our site: http://www.davisvanguard.org/category/yolo-county/court-watch/
Help us today!
The Vanguard is a 501c3 non-profit operating a news based website at http://davisvanguard.org