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L.A. County sheriff can't be sued for releasing illegal immigrant accused of killing football star, judge rules

http://projects.latimes.com/homicide/post/jamiel-shaw/A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Wednesday threw out a lawsuit by the parents of a high school football star who had sued the Sheriff’s Department for releasing from jail an illegal immigrant suspected of killing their son.

'The parents of Jamiel Shaw II, a running back who was recruited by Stanford and Rutgers universities before he was gunned down in 2008, had accused the sheriff of negligence, wrongful death and civil rights violations for letting Pedro Espinoza out onto the streets instead of turning him over to immigration authorities.

Espinoza, a 21-year-old who prosecutors say was a member of the 18th Street gang in the United States illegally, had been released from jail a day before the shooting after serving time for an earlier offense. His criminal case, in which he faces the death penalty, remains pending.

Shaw’s family alleged in their suit that because of an agreement allowing local agencies to enforce federal immigration law, the Sheriff’s Department was liable for Shaw’s death.

At the time of the suit’s filing, immigration law experts said the argument that a sheriff or warden could be held liable for releasing an illegal immigrant who goes on to commit a crime was unprecedented.

In dismissing the suit Wednesday, Judge Charles F. Palmer found that the federal-local partnership did not mean the sheriff had a “mandatory duty” to transfer illegal immigrants after they completed their sentences.

-- Victoria Kim

Homicide Report: Jamiel Shaw, 17

Photo: Program from memorial for Shaw. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (18)

While I feel bad for this young man who died, the Sheriff's department did the right thing in releasing Espinoza onto the streets. Undocumented workers who contribute to America should not be turned over to INS simply because they commit a crime. That's racist! Just ask the LA Times editorial board, I'm sure they agree with me.

Amnesty for illegals in 2k10!

God bless the LA sheriff's department for protecting our city!

Then what are we supposed to do? If the government won't protect us from criminals who sneak into our country... what are we supposed to do... die?

Well Eric Holder, Beck, Obama. HOW MANY IS ENOUGH?

So where is the surprise, when was the last time that a citizen has been able to take a government employee to court for failing to do the job that they were hire or elected to do. As a matter of fact most of the time government workers are covered by some sort protection that makes them unaccountable for any harm that they may cause.

If I own a dog that poses a danger to others and I fail to take every measure to control this dog I can be held criminally and civilly liable if anything happens with that dog. But Judge Charles F. Palmer seems to think that when the Sheriff releases a known gang member, illegal alien, criminal onto the streets the Sheriff is not responsible for the actions of this person.

While the Sheriff may not have had a duty under the federal-local partnership, but the Sheriff had and has a duty to the Citizens of Los Angeles County. This responsibility included protecting Mr. Jamiel Shaw II from this monster that was placed back on the streets.

Oh maybe I need to do a little more research could it be that this was one of the periods when the Sheriff’s Department was trying to convince us that they needed more money to protect us?

Now I'm really glad to live in Arizona. Just reading the LA Times makes me grateful to be some place else.

Larry in Arizona

Anyone who actually believes we have a justice system in this country, is a patent fool.

I guarantee you that as soon as these illegals start killing political people or their families, things will change. And it cannot happen soon enough.

go to a higher court

The old guard must be changed there leading Los angeles down a one-way street with no headlights on..while talking on their cellphones...in the bible it states you must have eyes to see and ears to hear LA has lost the ability to do either.

1st of all The family should sue the Murderer not the deep pockets of LA County...

secondly- These politicians are only politicians for 2 or 4 years terms...vote them OUT....

thirdly- If you depending on the Gov to protect you and your family that is a big mistake...Buy legal weapons, learn how to use them and prepare to defend your family...

Wow. What a bunch of crybabies you posters are. If you want to only be around your own kind than move to norway or detroit.

I agree with the statement that says that Espinoza should have been turned over to Immigration, Come on now he committed a previous crime obviously he is not contributing to the country rather he is a parasite feeding from taxpayers money I believe that if you are here illegally and commit a crime they should deport you back to wherever you came from!!!

Period end of story if you came here to work; then work and stop demanding the right to legalization it is not rightfully yours!!!

Keep a focus on your kids and make sure that they dont kill another mother's child because no mother should have to bury their son and especially not at this age.

If your illegal and committed a crime LEAVE we dont want you here and if you dont immigration should make you LEAVE!!

Judge Charles Palmer is a poor excuse for a judge. Apparently no one is responsible for sending illegal aliens out of our country. This isn't Mexico and let Mexico take care of their own problems! Has any one except me come to the conclusion we are no longer a nation of laws?? Judges enforce only those laws they personally agree with. So why should citizens follow any law they don't agree with?

To "Larry in Arizona".......

Fine with me. You can keep your oppressive heat down there while I bask in the great weather we have so often here in L.A. Of course, I'm spoiled cuz I'm a native.

Save money and disband the Sheriff Department as they don't protect or serve! Or you could hire Sheriff Joe and save a few Jamiels.

It's time for California to enforce the law and get rid of ALL illegal immigrants (undocumented democrats). If our politicians don't have the guts to do it, they should be deported too. Apparently breaking the law is "Ok" in the mexican community. Enough is enough.

So was this policy set by Baca and is it the same as exists now? Isn't he running for reelection unopposed?

Illegals do not contrbiute to america! they steal jobs from unenducated and people who are stuck geting social security because they hav learning disabilities and illegals steal jobs they can do. they are a burden to our social benefit programs to legal citizens who need it and tax payers. whoever wants to make the claim these illegals are good for american we have yet to see any proof of this. bcause a person looking for any cent thy can gt to mak a profit ahas nver had th oppuntunity to gt on of these low paying jobs. there are people who exhausted their benefits and they are losing their homes dont tell me they wouldn't be happy with 1 of those jobs occupied by a illegal . i'm sure they would rather have it then continue to see their children starve!


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