Fighting for juvenile justice - Page 3

Do we want to risk deporting innocent kids — and seeing them die trying to rejoin their families?

"I recognize that changing the reporting process to a third party would definitely be better than what we have now, where the final decision rests with a police officer. But while it's better, it's not sufficient. Due process necessarily entails giving people their day in court, and letting a judge decide what actually happens."

Sup. Chiu, a former prosecutor, also said he appreciates Gascón's resolution attempt. "But the point of our system is that once you are arrested and charged, there are due process rights so you can respond to those charges."

Sup. Dufty, a mayoral candidate, said he expects that when the board passes laws, those laws will be implemented by Newsom. "As CEO of San Francisco, he has to comply with all legislation, including local laws the legislative body passes that he may not like," Dufty said.

"My mother was born in Czechoslovakia and was stateless when I was a boy," he added. "She had to register every year as an alien, so this is very visceral for me. If we are to be a sanctuary city, it's because everyone has due process. It's denying people's humanity and dignity and creating a two-tiered system for justice."

But mayoral spokesperson Nathan Ballard continued to assert that Newsom's current policy is balanced. "While he remains open to argument, the mayor believes the current policy strikes the right balance between protecting public safety and safeguarding the rights of accused criminals," Ballard, who had not replied to the Guardian's questions as of press time, told the Examiner last week.

But Trillin says she can't stand to hear Ballard falsely claim, one more time, that the city is going to shield criminals. "Ballard keeps repeating a completely false position, because Newsom's actual position is morally indefensible," Trillin said. "You can't have the mayor publicly say that young people don't deserve due process, so you have to make up stuff like this instead."