Tuesday, August 22, 2017
C.A. Finds Justification for Controlling Probationer’s Place of Residence
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Fourth District Court of Appeal has affirmed a “Don’t leave the state” condition of probation imposed on a man convicted of making two threats against a mixed-race couple living across the street from him and dissuading a witness, his daughter, from testifying.
Under the condition, Dannie Michael Bradshaw may not foray beyond California’s boundaries or move his residence within the state unless he has the consent of his probation officer.
That, Bradshaw argued, infringes on his constitutional right to travel and freedom of association.
Seeing no merit to that contention, Justice Carol D. Codrington of Div. Two responded in an unpublished opinion on Friday:
“Insofar as probation is a grant of supervised release in lieu of confinement, virtually all probation conditions restrict these rights….Since it is impossible to travel or to associate freely with persons of one’s choice from inside a prison cell, probation is generally a great deal for the grantee. If defendant felt otherwise, he was free to refuse probation, and instead serve his sentence.”
The convictions stemmed from Bradshaw attempting to run off the road the Mexican-American woman who lived across the street and threatening to kill her husband, an African American. Bradshaw’s daughter was a witness to the defendant telling the male victim that he had “a bullet with his name on it, and that he has a noose in the backyard” and made a statement but was dissuaded by Bradshaw, through threats, from showing up in court.
Bradshaw was convicted by a jury and Riverside Superior Court Judge Michael B. Donner sentenced him to six years in prison, suspending the sentence and placing him on formal probation for five years. He appealed only the probation condition.
Hinting that a probation officer might bar Bradshaw from living near a mixed-race couple, the jurist said that controlling what area he resides in “will make it much more difficult for him to live near unsuspecting victims.” She said, in specific, that approval of the whereabouts of his residence is necessary to make sure he does not move back to the neighborhood where his menacing of his victims occurred or near his daughter.
Not a ‘Banishment’
Codrington also declared:
“The residency conditions are necessary under these circumstances to aid in defendant’s rehabilitation, and not to banish defendant from any geographic region. The residency conditions properly serve the state’s interest in reformation and rehabilitation because where he lives will directly affect his rehabilitation. Contrary to defendant’s claims, there is no evidence to suggest defendant’s residence could be disapproved for any reason or that it would be impractical for a defendant to find a place of residence with the notice and approval requirements. The nature of defendant’s crimes suggests a need for oversight.”
She went to say:
“In sum, although the residency conditions may restrict his movements and his choice of places to live, requirements that defendant obtain his probation officer’s approval of his residence or plans to change it or to move out of state, are neither unreasonable nor unconstitutionally vague nor overbroad. In view of defendant’s peripatetic pattern of criminal behavior, restriction on his rights to travel and to live any place he might choose is critical to the goals of protecting the public and rehabilitating defendant.”
The case is People v. Bradshaw, E065152.
Glendale attorney Cindy Brines represented Bradshaw, under appointment by the Court of Appeal. Deputy Attorneys General Peter Quon Jr. and Marilyn L. George argued for the People.
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