Chapter 12: Crimes against the Public

Graffiti covered buildings

The state has not only a right to “maintain a decent society” but an obligation to do so. In the public nuisance context, the community’s right to security and protection must be reconciled with the individual’s right to expressive and associative freedom. Reconciliation begins with the acknowledgment that the interests of the community are not invariably less important than the freedom of individuals.

   —People v. Acuna, cited in Section 12 “Civil Responses to Gang Activity”

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