Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 29+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-01-28
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

DISH: Crew Sports Bar + Grill; Leghorn expands DISH: Crew Sports Bar + Grill; Leghorn expands
A few years ago, I remember attending an LGBT-focused event downtown. There ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Ariz. Superior Court overturns Jones conviction
by Gretchen Rachel Hammond
2015-01-30

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


In a rare happy ending for a transgender individual caught up in the legal system, the ACLU reported on January 26 that the Superior Court of Arizona has overturned Phoenix social-studies student and activist Monica Jones's April 2014 misdemeanor conviction of manifesting intent to solicit prostitution.

The case hinged on the May 2013 arrest of Jones under the Phoenix ordinance which gives police extensive discretion in determining persons intending to engage in prostitution. Prior to her arrest, Jones had been an active protestor of Project Rose —an Arizona State University ( ASU ) initiative that partnered with Phoenix police and city prosecutors to round up suspected sex-workers and—without providing them access to legal counsel—offer them a choice between engaging in the program or facing prosecution.

Jones's conviction the following year was based upon the testimony of the arresting officer—the only witness the prosecution called—alongside a challenge of her credibility owing to a prior conviction and their contention that she had a "motive to lie" in her testimony in order to avoid a negative outcome to the trial. The judge deliberated for only three hours. Immediately after the decision, Jones told Windy City Times that she refused to give up. "This is just one battle," she said. "The war is far from over."

Now, for the moment, Jones's war has been won. In his January 22 decision Superior Court Judge Crane McClennan wrote "for the trial court to have concluded Defendant was not credible and thus guilty because she was facing conviction and sentence deprived Defendant of a fair trial."

Senior Counsel at the ACLU of Arizona Dan Pochoda told windy City Times that he is thrilled with the decision. "We feel terrific," he said. "And for the months of work by many folks on the ground not the least of which were the people from S.W.O.P. [Sex Workers Outreach Project] and Monica herself. In our opinion [Monica] was clearly targeted by law enforcement which had been working hand-in-hand with Project Rose to bring clients as fodder to that intervention program. We believe she was targeted because of her protests and as a black trans woman who are much too often disproportionately targeted."

Another victory for Jones and Phoenix activists occurred in November of last year when Project Rose was terminated. "I got an email from the public relations and communications person for the ASU School of Social Work saying that, in his opinion, they had not taken full account of the issues the ACLU raised in setting it up," Pochoda said. "So many things contributed to [it's end] including the terrific work by organizers on the streets."

In a January 27 interview with the Arizona Republic, the program's creator ASU Associate Professor Dominique Roe-Sepowitz claimed that the program had been "put on hold" due to "officer availability, not controversy."

Meanwhile the article started that another program called Phoenix First Step is in the pilot stages.

McClennan did not rule upon the constitutionality of the city's manifestation ordinance since the lower court was "never asked to rule on those issues, there is no ruling for this Court to assess," he wrote.

"It's not surprising. It was a quick and dirty process," Pochoda said referring to the municipal court trial. "You don't get a jury because the penalty is not large enough where you're entitled to one. In other jurisdictions the statute has been found to be unconstitutional. It violates of the First Amendment and Due Process because it's too vague and allows the cop on the beat to decide who to pick up. There are no criteria set by the legislative body that limit the discretion of the police to arrest. So you can be charged for legal activity such as speaking to cops on the street."

Jones told Windy City Times that prior to McClennan's decision she felt her chances were bleak. "I was thinking how I was going to do thirty days in jail and get through school," she said. "It has really made me happy that this has come to a close. I was calling my parents and everyone. I was so excited."

However Jones remains concerned that the prosecutor will attempt to retry her "just to prove a point."

"We would hope that [the prosecutor] would understand that there is no good or legitimate governmental interest in retrying her," Pochoda said. "And that it will just cause further unnecessary use of public resources."

Meanwhile, both Jones and Pochoda are going to take the fight to the city's ordinance. "It needs to be thrown out," Jones said. "These laws give the police discretion to target trans women of color. I also think that using someone's priors to convict them is wrong."

"If Monica is retried, it will be very much a front and center part of the defense that she is being tried under an unconstitutional statute," Pochoda asserted. "If they drop the charges, which would be terrific, we certainly will be looking for other avenues to challenge the provision."

Jones said she will graduate in December with a masters degree in Social Work. She also intends to keep up a travelling and speaking schedule about her experiences. "There's talk of me going to Geneva to discuss the laws that affect sex-workers," she said adding that she has also set her sights on the 2016 International AIDS Conference in South Africa. "There's a lot more that needs to be done."


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

LGBTQ community outraged with ongoing transgender homicides 2015-01-29
Five Worth Finding 2015-01-27
AFC's 30 year gala May 16, star of Transparent master of ceremonies 2015-01-27
Transgender woman of color killed in Texas 2015-01-27
Saks withdraws argument that trans people not covered by Title VII 2015-01-26
Lamia Beard, transgender woman of color, killed in Norfolk 2015-01-22
Out at CHM opens series with transgender resilience 2015-01-22
Chicago City Council prohibits police profiling of trans* people 2015-01-21
EI to honor TransLife; Out at CHM presents Transmopolitan 2015-01-21
Palm Center to Pres Obama: Address trans military ban in State of the Union 2015-01-15
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL Transgender people and jail 2015-01-14
New Girls on the Block explores lives in transition 2015-01-12
'Transparent' very visible at Golden Globes 2015-01-11
Study compares mental health of trans, non-trans youth 2015-01-09
India elects first third-gender mayor 2015-01-07
Trans march in Philadelphia 2015-01-07
Trans teen's death sparks movement 2015-01-07
National roundup: Nominee yanked; Maloney's request; Philly trans march 2015-01-06
Nominations open for 2015 Trans 100 2014-12-31
VIEWS: Why Laverne Cox should be fifth 'View' co-host 2014-12-30
PASSAGES Leelah Alcorn 2014-12-30
Detroit LGBTQ community mourns passing of transgender man 2014-12-26
Michigan transgender man, missing since Dec. 10, found dead 2014-12-24
Tech talk with trans journalist Ina Fried 2014-12-24
Elton John weds; Trans series in suburbs; Seacrest producing 2014-12-24
Notes: TransTech; Court on inmate's gender; UChicago Jabour 2014-12-23
ACLU files Federal complaint: School board segregates trans bathroom use 2014-12-19
TransTech announces donor matching program with MillerCoors 2014-12-18
Trans individual missing from Warren, Michigan area 2014-12-18
Guide provides vital information for transgender prisoners 2014-12-18
DOJ to recognize trans discrimination as sex discrimination 2014-12-18
LGBTQ Task Force leader talks equality, anti-trans violence 2014-12-17
Marine charged with transgender woman's murder 2014-12-17
Myles Brady: Howard Brown's first transgender outreach coordinator 2014-12-17
National: LGBT bill in Congress; trans soldiers; blood ban 2014-12-17
Ruling: Corrections can deny necessary surgery to trans prisoner 2014-12-16
Golden Globe nods: 'Transparent' in, 'Modern Family' out 2014-12-11
Air Force Secretary supports lifting military ban on trans service 2014-12-10
Door partially unlocked to trans* military service 2014-12-10
BOOK REVIEW I Am Jazz 2014-12-10





Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Lesbian candidate vies to win seat as 46th Ward alderman
 
5TH WARD Urban policy pro Jocelyn Hare runs for 5th Ward seat
 
in the Life: David Garcia
 
Original 'ex-ex-gay' John Evans dies
 
Transgender woman of color killed in Texas
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.