|Volunteers at Silicon Valley De-Bug. (PHOTO: Silicon Valley De-Bug)|
In 2010, aspiring criminal defense attorney and longtime volunteer at Bay Area social justice non-profit Silicon Valley De-Bug Albert Cobarrubias was gunned down by a local gang member Michael Frausto in a tragic case of mistaken identity.
To honor Albert’s legacy, De-Bug launched the Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project, dedicated to following his work in reducing incarceration rates among communities of color by helping defendants and their families better navigate the complexities of the legal system.
By 2014, “participatory defense” as it had come to be known, knocked nearly 2,000 years worth of prison time off for hundreds of offenders, many of whom were convicted of low-level offenses and were victims of oversentencing. And that number has only gone up from there.
I recently sat down with Benee Vejar, a volunteer at De-Bug and spokesperson for the project, to talk about how participatory defense works, and the kind of impact it’s been having as of late.
Screw Jack – A Certain Kind Of Strange
Europa – Can You Believe
Relapse – Don’t Wake Up
Rebelskamp – Spiritual Almighty
Silicon Valley De-Bug
Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project
San Jose Homicide Leaves Deluge of Grief – NBC Bay Area
Murder trial begins in killing of aspiring South Bay defense lawyer – San Jose Mercury News
Justice Project Celebrates 1,862 Years in Time Saved – San Jose Inside
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