Accused murderer of activist David Lewis set free Crimes & Incidents, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Feb 6, 2013 at 10:30 am
The man who confessed to gunning down well-known East Palo Alto community leader David Lewis was set free by the San Mateo County court Tuesday, Feb. 5. Gregory Leon Elarms Sr., 60, was released from jail three months after a San Mateo County Superior Court judge threw out first-degree murder charges against him after finding that San Mateo police violated his Miranda rights.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 9:17 AM
Posted by And-They-Call-This-Justice, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Feb 6, 2013 at 10:48 am
Yesterday's Daily Post printed the salaries for Redwood City Police Officers--some of which are making almost $300,000 per year (with a 90% pension in the wings). This is what paying these outrageous salaries is buying the residents of Redwood City.
When this man kills again--and it is difficult to believe he won't--everyone associated with this case will have blood on their hands!
What a travesty! No wonder no one trusts government any more!!
Posted by thoughtful, a member of the Gunn High School community, on Feb 6, 2013 at 11:38 am
Like it or not, criminals are our first line of defense against governmental overreaching. It is tragic that the police violated this person's right not to be a witness against himself. The right itself arose in reaction to the Star Chamber made famous by the Tudors and Stuarts for nearly 200 years and a right guaranteed to us since the English Revolution of 1641. This same right that was asserted by those accused in Senator McCarthy's hearings in the early 1950s. It's the same right that our honored soldiers have fought and died for for centuries. Criminals also protect our right of privacy, our right not to have our cars and homes searched by governmental authority on any whim.
While it is reprehensible that this crime occurred, and it's possible that a guilty person may go free, it has always been one of the hallmarks of our freedom that we, as a society, would prefer to allow a guilty person to go free rather than wrongly convict an innocent person. Don't blame the judge who, I am quite certain, only with great reluctance threw out an illegal confession. Blame the police who, despite excellent training, violated their own, and our, procedures to ensure that a confession is legally obtained.
Posted by Ricardo, a resident of another community, on Feb 6, 2013 at 12:36 pm
@resident: try a search, perhaps arrest + miranda + free, or freed, or released, for answers to your questions. The google machine is quite fun. You should try it when you have a moment. In the meantime, you may want to search on 'Constitution' or 'civil liberties'.
Then we can REALLY have fun, with the whiners who want a less talented police force on the cheap, versus those who want our civil right protections and a high quality, fairly compensated public servant.
Elam got off because his civil rights were violated, as the LAW prescribes. An awful situation, but the correct one. If Mr Elam's sanity is still intact (see recent history, also available under the google machine) Mr Elam will move far away. My prediction is that he won't.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Feb 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm
Dear And-They - easy mistake to make. After all, it's hard to remember what screw up belongs to which police dept. It was the former Redwood chief who get caught w/the Sheriff at the hooker house in Vegas.
Posted by Howard, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Feb 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm
To equate the failure to say the "magic words" of the Miranda warning (that no one pays any attention to), with the Star Chamber or other forms of torture, is ridiculous. The Supreme Court's Miranda decision was wrong, and was not and is not necessary to protect the Constitutional Rights of innocent people falsely accused of a crime. Those who treat Miranda with some sort of patriotic reverence are misguided and only serve the interests of hardened criminals.
Posted by Outraged, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Feb 7, 2013 at 11:20 am
Was the confession the only evidence against Mr Elarms? Was there no witness, no weapon found? I am outraged that a confessed assassin was set free. David Lewis was a humanitarian that did much for the community. I am deeply saddened by his murder and now the injustice of allowing his murderer to go free. And I can't help thinking that if he were of a different ethnicity, a different community or in a different social status things would have turned out differently for Mr Elarms as they did for Hinkley, Booth, Oswald, James Earl Ray and other assassins.
Posted by Just Wait, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on May 30, 2013 at 2:59 am
The Appeals Court WILL reinstate the confession. Write down the date. You heard it hear first. Don't assume you know all the facts because you read them on a website. I love how some of you call Elarms the "alleged" killer, but automatically assume the police are in the wrong....In a matter of months, you will all look ignorant and uninformed.