Judge James P. Gray - Download Articles and Audio

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Daily Journal, May 4 2011:

Professional Tools for Litigators: Direct and Cross-Examination.

What is really the difference between direct and cross examination? Think of a megaphone. Direct examination is represented by the smaller end. You should ask short questions that call for the witness to expound upon and develop the answer, which is represented by the larger end. In direct examination, you are usually vouching for the credibility and knowledge of the witness, so you want the leave as much of the talking as possible to the witness that you called.

Judge works to legalize marijuana by DAVID WHITING

Judge Jim Gray's office reveals a busy man, in spite of his having retired as a judge. Gray is a leader in the fight to legalize marijuana, has written a book, is an avid speaker, and now is heading the fight for the proposition on the next ballot.
Daily Journal, April 2011:

Professional Tools For Litigators: Opening Statemens.

Many attorneys, judges and legal commentators believe that, second only to issue of the credibility of witnesses, the opening statement is the most important aspect of the trial when it comes to convincing a jury. I share that belief. Skilled and artful attorneys will use an opening statement to tell the jury about what they anticipate the evidence at the trial will be, which means they will tell a story that allows the jurors to see the case through their client's eyes.
Daily Journal, June 2010:

Maximizing the People's Right to Choose

Based upon his experiences as a veteran trial court judge, his solid Libertarian principles and his observations of the election process based upon his personal involvement,Judge James P. Gray (Ret.) presents fresh and demonstrably workable solutions for some of America'S most pressing problems. Judge Gray explains how we would be safer, healthier, better educated and more successful by implementing specific changes to our systems of criminal justice, health care, education and immigration. Regardless of their political affi liation, "A Voter'S Handbook" should be required reading for all Americans who wish to get our great country back on track.
Daily Journal, June 2010:

Maximizing the People's Right to Choose

Based upon his experiences as a veteran trial court judge, his solid Libertarian principles and his observations of the election process based upon his personal involvement,Judge James P. Gray (Ret.) presents fresh and demonstrably workable solutions for some of America'S most pressing problems. Judge Gray explains how we would be safer, healthier, better educated and more successful by implementing specific changes to our systems of criminal justice, health care, education and immigration. Regardless of their political affi liation, "A Voter'S Handbook" should be required reading for all Americans who wish to get our great country back on track.
Legalizing Marijuana? - Mon, Mar 2, 2009:

A California lawmaker last week introduced a bill to "tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol." Later in the week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder indicated that the Obama administration may end raids on pot dispensaries in California. Is this the beginning of a sea change in drug policy both in California and the nation?

Judge Jim Gray did an excellent job debating law enforcement lobbyist John Lovell on AB 390. Lovell -- never a friend of the truth and always sensationalist -- seems to think that parolees are not being re-incarcerated for testing positive for marijuana. He also has this ridiculous notion, that the illegal marijuana trade will somehow continue under AB 390. As per usual, just about everything out of Lovell's mouth was a lie.

However, as we expected, Lovell's main talking point is that AB390 downgrades sales to minors to an infraction. He also seized on this point in a debate he did with Bruce Mirken over the weekend. We all really need to press on Ammiano's office to deal with this sloppy bill language as soon as possible. I know that he isn't able to submit the amendments for another 3 weeks or so but I'm hoping that we get some kind of statement so that we can all say with confidence that these were just "drafting errors" that will be fixed before this bill gets to committe.

Host: Michael Krasny
Guests: James P. Gray, retired Orange County Superior Court judge and speaker for LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)
John Lovell, lobbyist for California Peace Officers' Association

February 23, 2009:
TALKING POINTS, Ammiano's Tax & Regulate Bill

Tom Ammiano's bill woud "tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol", introduction fees and excise taxes, and bar sales to or possession by anyone under 21.
February 12, 2010:
Taking Charge: Hands-On Judge Brings His Approach to ADR
By Susan McRae - Daily Journal Staff Writer

IRVINE - James P. Gray would be the first to call himself an activist - as a judge, a community leader and now as an ADR neutral.
But not in the sense of someone who doesn't follow the law or who makes new ones. That's not Gray.
"In fact," says Gray, 65, who retired from the Orange County Superior Court a year ago and joined ADR Services Inc., "I enforce laws, even if I don't agree with them.
February 23, 2009:
Ammiano Introduces Marijuana Legalization Bill to the Press.

But the morning's most forceful speaker was Judge James P. Gray, who retired from his 25-year post on the Orange County Superior Court six weeks ago. With his gray suit, tasseled loafers, and conservative salt-and-pepper haircut, he looked like central casting's offering for "Republican candidate for higher office." Not surprisingly, Gray did run as a Republican for Congress against Bob Dornan and Loretta Sanchez and Senate vs. Bill Jones and Barbara Boxer. He now says he's "not a politician -- and I have the votes to prove it." "I served 25 years on the bench and I've seen the results of this attempted prohibition. It doesn't make marijuana less available, but it does clog the court system," he said. "The stronger we get on marijuana, the softer we get with regard to all other prosecutions because we have only so many resources. And we at this moment, have thousands of people in state prison right this minute who did nothing but smoke marijuana."
Saturday, May 23, 2009:

Officials in the law enforcement community constantly say that we never put anyone in prison simply for using marijuana, but that is not true. Why? Because when inmates are placed on parole for prior offenses, it is always with the condition that they use no form of illicit substances.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009:

Judge Andrew J. Guilford of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California of my book Wearing the Robe that was published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal
El Paso Times Borderland - Sun, 29 April 2001:

American judges are growing so uneasy about their country's drugs laws that they are to go public with their calls for change. The judge who will publish the names of his concerned colleagues is calling for the regulated sale of cocaine, heroin and cannabis as the only way to break the current international cycle of violence and imprisonment...
Saturday, April 4, 2009: Judge Gray speaks at Pitzer College.

"If I gave you $50 tonight, how many could come back with $50 worth of marijuana tomorrow?"
At Pitzer College on Wednesday night, nearly 150 students raised their hands.

The question, addressed to an audience of students, faculty, and community members, came as part of a much-anticipated debate on national drug policy hosted by Pitzer College. The two-hour event saw a vigorous collision of perspectives on a range of drug issues, including legalization, the War on Drugs, and the nature of drug abuse.
March 18, 2009: Judge Gray supports Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's proposed AB 390.

The objections that the opponents of this forward-thinking bill generally cite are, first, that marijuana causes harm to the user and to society, and second, that the bill would "send the wrong message to our children." But the reality of the situation is that, first, marijuana is already abundant in California, and the rest of the country as well, so whatever harm it would cause is basically already upon us, and that, second, society would no more be encouraging or condoning children or anyone else to use marijuana by instituting these changes than it now encourages or condones anyone to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.
Daily Pilot - March 1, 2009: IT'S A GRAY AREA: Treating pot like alcohol - by Judge Jim Gray:

I recently participated in a news conference in San Francisco with Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Chairwoman Betty Yee of the State Board of Equalization, and Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan to support Assembly Bill 390, which would treat marijuana like alcohol in California. San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey also supports the bill.
Daily Pilot - January 3, 2009: IT'S A GRAY AREA: The Libertarian philosophy - by Judge Jim Gray:

I was a lifelong Republican until I realized my party couldn't be counted on. Not to protect my freedom or my liberty, and not to be "fiscally conservative."
Daily Pilot - December 27, 2008: IT'S A GRAY AREA: Classic liberal, conservative values - Judge Jim Gray:

While accompanying my wife shopping recently, I happened to see a friend of mine. This is a man who has been quite successful in his business career, and whom I met as one of the "powers that be" in the politically powerful Lincoln Club of Orange County. We began talking about the sorry state of our economy and several other matters when he made the comment: "I have harmed our formerly great system of public education."
Daily Pilot - December 13, 2008: IT'S A GRAY AREA: To a mind that is still - Judge Jim Gray:

The Taiwanese author Chang Tsu once said "To a mind that is still, the whole world surrenders." The best way to obtain a still mind is through meditation. But, although most of us have heard about it, what exactly is meditation?
Daily Pilot - December 20, 2008: IT'S A GRAY AREA: Job loss can happen to anyone - Judge Jim Gray:

I had the good fortune to meet Anthony George Dodero - known to his friends as Tony - when I inquired about the possibility of writing these weekly columns. He was the editor in chief of the Daily Pilot, and he and Brady Rhoades, who was the managing editor, took me to breakfast to discuss the possibilities. Since that time they have both become my friends.
Daily Pilot - December 9, 2008:

Mental illness has been a part of the human experience for as long as mankind has walked the face of the earth. But within the last several years, medical and legal professionals have come a long way in understanding and being able to grapple successfully with these issues....
"IT'S BEEN A GREAT RUN!" - Judge Jim Gray, Dec 2008:

So as I face my coming retirement at the end of this year and enter into a different phase of my professional life, I jumped at the opportunity to share some thoughts with you my colleagues about what I have learned, insights I have gained, and even a few recommendations for changes in our system that I believe should be made.
National Call To Action Conference - November 2008:

Host: Bob Wiese
Guest: Judge Jim Gray

Interview with Judge Jim Gray at the National to Call Chapter in Madison with Bob Wiese. Discussing the War On Drugs. Judge Gray states that we incarcerate more than anyone other country per capita in the world.

Daily Pilot - Nov 15 2008: IT'S A GRAY AREA: A positive world revolution

He suggested that our government offer a prize, or a "bounty," for anyone who would develop a process or method that would be commercially viable to separate the hydrogen and oxygen elements from water. Then the pure hydrogen could be used as a fuel. Our government would pay anyone who would develop such a process $1 billion, or even $5 billion, and then we would donate the process to the public domain...
Daily Pilot - November 8, 2008:

No matter how you approach the issue, when all is said and done, it's our government, and if it is not working, it is our own fault. In today'S large and complicated world, that is a difficult mantra to accept - but we are "the People" mentioned in our Constitution, and there is no alternative than to accept this as our ultimate responsibility in our democratic republic. Fortunately, the good news is that if we persist, we will often be successful in achieving results...
The Daily Pilot, Nov 2008: It's A Gray Area:

No, It's Just The Beginning...
But, as my father (Judge William Gray) used to say, that was not the end. In actuality, when you consider the big picture, it was really only the beginning. But in so many ways in our society, we do not look at or even consider the whole picture.
For example, in the matter of the perpetrators of those offenses, what is the rest of the story? What will happen to them while they are in prison, and what will they be like once they are eventually released? And incarceration is expensive.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) - 10/14/08:

Judge James P. Gray, author of "Wearing the Robe, the Art and Responsibilities of Judging in Today's Courts", Dr. Norm Stamper, author of "Breaking Rank - A Top Cop's Expose" + Terry Nelson of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition... Download the Transcripts

Monday, August 8, 2005:

While we can't necessarily quarrel with the legal reasoning, we respectfully take issue with a Los Angeles Superior Court judge's decision to bar Libertarian senatorial candidate Judge Jim Gray from a televised debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters of California....
Daily Pilot - Monday, August 8, 2005:

U.S. Senate candidate and Newport Beach resident Judge Jim Gray weighed in Wednesday on recently discovered photos of American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, calling for an independent investigation into allegations of torture of captive Iraqis by American forces. "As a Vietnam-era veteran, I am sickened by photos purporting to show American soldiers engaging in obvious abuse of detainees," Gray said in a statement Wednesday....
Daily Pilot - Monday, August 8, 2005:

Judge Jim Gray is trying to use the courts to do what his showing in the polls can't: get him into a high-profile debate. Gray, who lives in Newport Beach, applied Monday for a temporary restraining order to block the League of Women Voters of California from holding an Aug. 10 debate between incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and her Republican challenger Bill Jones. Gray charges the league is violating federal election laws by excluding him from the debate...
The Bee - April 19, 2004:

"It is not a dangerous drug," said Judge James Gray, a Libertarian and Newport Beach Superior Court judge who is running for the U.S. Senate. "It is made dangerous when it is made illegal. Marijuana should be treated basically like alcohol."

Gray said his candidacy will focus on two issues: repealing the "excesses of the Patriot Act" and the legalization of marijuana...
OC Weekly - Mar. 4, 2004:
U.S. senate candidate Judge Jim Gray strives to make the
Libertarian party matter by Steve Lowery

Aside from the little frizzy- haired dude in the T-shirt—people of a certain age will recognize him as a demi-Jerry from Room 222—there is a conspicuous paucity of stoners at Judge Jim Gray’s Senate campaign headquarters opening celebration. There are lots of adults in suits and ties—this is key—lots of people who look like they could be attending a Republican or Democratic function—also key—a lot of people whose closest brush with the phrase "try before you buy" no doubt involved vacation-time-share property...
March 7th:

March and Rally in Los Angeles and Candle-light Vigil in Orange County
Demonstrating against a law that has given approximately 2,500 Californians 25 years-to-life for nonviolent and nonserious offenses over the last five years, about 150 people marched through the streets of Los Angeles to a rally and about 100 people attended a candle-light vigil in Orange County. Dennis Duncan, President of the Los Angeles Chapter, introduced many speakers at the Los Angeles Rally, and there were many speakers at the Orange County Candle-Light Vigil, including Judge Jim Gray of Orange County...
California Freedom February 2004 - Featuring Judge Jim Gray: Primary Contest for Senate
Perspectives - the journal of the American Probation and Parole Association - Fall ' 2003:

Orange County's Peer Court is a diversion program that presents real juvenile court cases that are carefully screened by the probation department to high school "jurors." The juvenile subject must admit the truth of the charged offense and, along with his/her parents, waive their rights to confidentiality. They personally appear at high school outside of their own school district (so that no one present knows them) with at least one parent. A jury of students at the host high school is impaneled after short questioning to determine if they can be fair and impartial. A probation officer reads a statement of facts about the case, and then the subject about themselves, their backgrounds, the offense, or anything they feel would be important for the jury to know about the situation...
April 10, 2002:
James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy - Rice University
Moving Beyond the "War on Drugs"
Our Drug Laws Have Failed
James P. Gray
Superior Court Judge, Orange County California
January 2002: The Judge: James P. Gray

Most individuals arrested by a cop eventually appear before a judge. These days, they won't be appearing in Judge James P. Gray's Southern California courtroom. Since publicly questioning the U.S. drug strategy, the Orange County Superior Court judge has kept himself off the criminal calendar. But, like Levine and McNamara, he has witnessed the reality of the U.S. drug war -- as a defense attorney in the Navy, as a prosecutor in Los Angeles, and as a judge. Says the 56-year-old Gray, "We're flooding our courts with these cases that aren't making any difference whatsoever..."
Los Angeles Daily Journal - California Law business - July 16, 2001:

How is actor Robert Downey Jr.'s problem with drug abuse any different than Betty Ford's problem with alcohol abuse? Why is it appropriate to send Robert Downey Jr. to jail but send Betty Ford to treatment? Shouldn't drug users who cause harm to others raise different questions, and answers, than users such as Downey who do not harm anyone but themselves?

Why don't we make distinctions between people who use drugs and people who abuse them? We automatically conclude that everyone who uses marijuana, for example, needs drug treatment. I agree that marijuana can have some harmful effects on the user, but, obviously, so can alcohol. I drink a glass of wine almost every night with dinner. Does that mean that I need an alcohol-treatment program?
Coast Magazine - June 2001:

As America's War on Drugs is increasingly being questioned, few have doubted its effectiveness longer, or with greater insight, than Newport Beach resident Judge James P. Gray. Now journalists from Walter Cronkite to Arianna Huffington are praising his new book Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What You Can Do About It - A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs. Judge Gray was appointed to the Orange County trial court by Governor George Deukmejian in 1983. In 1998, he was a candidate for congress in the Republican primary but was defeated by former-Congressman Robert Dornan, who in turn lost to Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

First, what is your evidence that America's drug laws are failing?
Austin American-Statesman - Sunday, May 6, 2001:

Drug war needs a new direction

Has the drug war made the nation's substance-abuse problem better than five years ago? Asked by a visiting drug-policy reformer to raise hands if they thought so, a local crowd didn't move a muscle.

That's the response wherever he speaks, said California Superior Court Judge James Gray, a self- labeled conservative Republican doing battle with the drug war's most obvious follies. He finds a clear message in the silence...
Houston Chronicle - Friday, April 27, 2001:

The word-choice topic came up in a dinner conversation Tuesday, when a California judge met with a handful of Texas people who share his interest in changing the nation's drug policy. Judge James Gray came to Houston to speak at a luncheon Thursday sponsored by the Drug Policy Forum of Texas. He is the author of a new book: Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About it...
Houston Chronicle - April 11, 2001:

This is about a couple of former drug warriors who now hold down jobs they got elected to -- a judge in California and a mayor in Texas -- and how only one of them listened to what the other had to say.
James Gray has been a judge in Orange County for the past 16 years. Before that, he was a federal prosecutor who, for a while, held the record for the nation's largest heroin bust. But nine years ago he came out publicly against the drug war and all the damage he has seen it cause...
Orange County Lawyer April, 2001:

It has been several years since Orange County's own Judge James P. Gray stood on courthouse steps and condemned the so-called war on drugs -- the criminalization and punishment of manufacture, possession and distribution of e.g., marijuana, cocaine and heroin. It has been many years as well since the Orange County Lawyer magazine aired that issue, printing both favorable and unfavorable views on that tenet.

Well, neither the Honorable James P. Gray, nor the war on drugs have gone away -- although both have been scarred by the continuation of that "war." The battle lines have been drawn and the issues have been aired. Now we witness either a balloon about to burst, i.e., a change in policy, moving away from criminalization; or a retrenchment...
UCLA BRUIN - Wednesday, April 12, 2000:

The public debate, which was attended by roughly 100 people, featured as participants Judge Jim Gray of the Superior Court of Orange County; Mark Kleiman, UCLA School of Public Policy professor; and James Q. Wilson, a professor at the Anderson School...
Orange County Voices section of the Los Angeles Times - September 22, 1996:

Our great country is reeling from self inflicted wounds resulting from our current failed "war on drugs." It is clear that we are not in better shape today than we were five years ago regarding drug use and abuse and all of the crime and misery that accompany them. Unless we change our approach, we can have no legitimate expectation that we will be in better shape next year than we are today.

However, we will not pursue change until we realize, as a country, that it is all right to talk about this issue-and that just because we talk about the possibility of changing our drug policy does not mean that we condone drug use or abuse...
The Cronkite Report, June 20, 1995:

Every American was shocked when Robert McNamara, one of the master architects of the Vietnam War, acknowledged that not only did he believe the war was, "wrong, terribly wrong", but that he thought so at the very time he was helping to wage it. That's a mistake we must not make in this 10th year of America's all-out War on Drugs.

It's surely time for this nation to stop flying blind, stop accepting the assurances of politicians and other officials, that if we only keep doing what we are doing, -- add a little more cash, break down a few more doors, lock up a few more Jan Warrens and Nicole Richardsons -- then we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Victory will be ours...
In Police News, Spring '94:

What we are doing is not working. We have focused our attention, effort and resources upon intercepting heroin, cocaine and marijuana, and incarcerating those who sell and use them. We have been increasingly successful in seizing ever larger quantities of these drugs, convicting greater numbers of defendants who are involved with them and sentencing those defendants to ever longer terms in our jails and prisons. Nevertheless, the magnitude of the problem created by making these drugs illegal continues to grow. The only practical resolution available to us is to revise our laws so that the use by adults of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, and the purchase by adults of these drugs generically at licensed commercial pharmacies is legal...
Pezhvak of Persia exclusive interview with Judge Jim Gray April, 2004: Judge JimGray how do you see evolvement of Iranian-Americans in political process of California? What are the ways that they can become more involved?...
Los Angeles Times, January 4, 1994:

Calls by Orange County judge for a critical study of drug laws gain influential support

Bit by bit, adding a legislator here and a policeman there, Orange County Superior Court Judge James P. Gray is building a coalition to support his proposal for a thorough review of the nation's drug laws. He is proving to be a catalyst for a needed debate on an important subject...

Appointed: (succeeding Judge James K. Turner, retired) by Governor Deukmejian July 25, 1989 (oath July 27, 1989), and elected in 1990, 1996, 2002 (unopposed). Judge, Municipal Court, Central Orange County Judicial District, Orange County, December 30, 1983, (date of oath) to July 27, 1989, appointed (succeeding Judge Alan A. Plaia, resigned) by Governor Deukmejian December 21, 1983, and elected in 1986 (unopposed). Private law practice (handling antitrust, real estate, and business litigation), Newport Beach, Orange County, 1978-83 (associate, Wyman, Bautzer, Rothman, Kuchel & Silbert). Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Central District of California 1975-78 (directed U.S. Attorney's Veterans Administration Federal Housing Administration Fraud Unit). Admitted to California Bar February 7, 1972...

Q. Your book is called Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed. What characterizes the failure of our drug laws?

A. Our policy of Drug Prohibition has failed from every standpoint imaginable: unnecessary prison growth, increased taxes, increased crime and corruption here and abroad, loss of civil liberties, decreased health, diversion of resources that are needed to address other problems in society. I could go on and on…...

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Judge James P. Gray
Music Arranged by Susan Boettger...
Bigger Than Life - Judge Jim Gray:

It is a genuine privilege to be able to write an article for a journal like the Orange County Lawyer about my father Judge William P. Gray: distinguished jurist, attorney, civic leader, mentor, teacher, friend, golf partner, pianist, grandfather of five, father of two, and husband of one for more than 50 years - Bill Gray was many things to many people, and in many ways, he was bigger than life itself.
Dear Gen. McCaffrey:

Our great country is reeling from wounds which we have been inflicting upon ourselves because of our current failed drug policy. It is clear that we are not in better shape today than we were five years ago regarding drug use and abuse and all of the crime and misery which accompany them, and, unless we change our approach, we can have no legitimate expectation that we will be in better shape next year than we are today. However, we will not pursue change until we realize, as a country, that it is all right to talk about this issue - and that just because we talk about the possibility of changing our drug policy does not mean that we condone drug use or abuse...
For more than two decades I was a soldier in the War on Drugs. In the course of my career, I have helped put drug users and dealers in jail; I have presided over the breakup of families; I have followed the laws of my state and country, and have seen their results.

At one point, I held the record for the largest drug prosecution in the Los Angeles area: 75 kilos of heroin, which was and is a lot of narcotics. But today the record is 18 tons. I have prosecuted some people, and later sentenced others, to long terms in prison for drug offenses, and would do so again. But it has not done any good. I have concluded that we would be in much better shape if we could somehow take the profit out of the drug trade. Truly the drugs are dangerous, but it is the drug money that is turning a disease into a plague...
LIMA, Peru--A U.S. Baptist missionary and her infant daughter were killed Friday when a Peruvian fighter plane on an anti-drug patrol shot down their private aircraft over the jungle near the Brazilian border, Peruvian government officials said.

The Peruvian air force pilot apparently mistook the downed Cessna 185 seaplane for a drug-smuggling plane, U.S. Embassy officials said. The pilot, one of the other three U.S. citizens aboard, was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the leg and rib injuries...


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