News / Criminal Injustice

  • A Stunning Example of Racial Disparities in Santa Barbara

    In a case that has sent shockwaves throughout the Santa Barbara Latino community a white women, Kimberly Ann Kreis, with a long history of substance abuse and a rap sheet peppered with multiple felonies was sentenced to 1 year in jail after having killed three brown lives while intoxicated.

    Alternatively former aide to Congresswoman Capps, Raymond Morua, was sentenced to 20 years to life after having killed a white women in a hit and run accident while also intoxicated. Morua had two previous DUI's. While both crimes are layered in tragedy it is clearly the case that there is an agregious racial disparity in how punishment was administered. Wanting to honor the severity of the impact to the families we are not arguing that Morua should be sentenced to less time but rather we are wondering and alarmed that Ms. Kreis was sentenced to such minimal time. 

    It is clear in this case that the Santa Barbara court system is one sided in punishing according to race.

    The CHP conducted an extensive investigation of the crash, but ultimately found that a sober person would likely have collided with the vehicle as well. Authorities argued that for this reason they could not charge Kreis with felony manslaughter, even though she had alcohol and methamphetamine in her bloodstream at the time of the collision.

    Ultimately, in December, Kreis pleaded no contest to four misdemeanor charges: possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, being under the influence of a controlled substance, and having drug paraphernalia in her vehicle.

    Kreis had formerly been charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, but because of the passage of Prop. 47 last fall, which reduces most non-serious and non-violent property and drug crimes from felony to a misdemeanor, she was charged as such.

    Filiberto Nolasco Gomez with graphic design and content support from Michael Montenegro

     

     

     

     

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