THE GHOSTS OF CALIFORNIA’S GANG POLICY: THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL GANG HEARSAY EXCEPTION
Written by Leah Roemer*
Gunshots sound through the neighborhood. Tires squeal. A young man lies bleeding, dying, under a stoic palm tree, his legs splayed out on the cold concrete sidewalk. The car disappears around the corner, the gun withdrawn from the window. The young man’s friends hold him and scream for help.
California has seen thousands of tragic killings like this over the past few decades. In response, the state passed a suite of "anti-gang" laws making it easier for prosecutors to convict defendants in cases with little evidence. This paper explores one law in particular: the "gang exception" to hearsay. This hypothetical imagines how such a case might play out.