Tuesday, March 29, 2016

People v. Ybarra (Cal. Ct. App. - March 29, 2016)

The California Court of Appeal will teach you a whole new set of terminology if you pay attention.

You may well already know what "gassing" entails.  And, if you don't, today's opinion -- which involves (in part) precisely such an event -- will give you a glimpse.  Fortunately, today, it's just spit.  But as you likely know, gassing can also involve some even less pleasant substances.  But there's one term.

What I didn't know until today, by contrast, is the distinction between a "bomber" and a "hitter".  The latter term I could have probably figured out.  But now I know what the former is as well.

Justice Murray explains:

"Sergeant Villanueva then turned toward the exercise area in the yard and saw three inmates punching and stabbing another inmate. He observed a fourth inmate running away from that area. . . . Officer Castellon pepper-sprayed the assailants to stop the assault. He testified that Amaya and Colon did not have weapons on or near them. Officer Castellon explained that based on his experience with Northern Hispanic gang assaults, he believed Amaya and Colon were 'bombers.' He went on to explain that the 'bombers are the people who direct the incident away from the person who actually did the stabbing and cutting,' allowing the prisoners with weapons, called 'hitters,' to get away while the bombers continue to attack the victim without weapons."

Good to know.  My prison lingo has now marginally expanded.