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Ruchell Magee, longest held political prisoner in the world, heads to parole hearing

March 2, 2018

by Ruchell Cinque Magee

Ruchell Cinque Magee, gravely wounded, was the sole survivor of the Marin Courthouse Slave Rebellion on Aug. 7, 1970, led by George Jackson’s little brother Jonathan. That incident is still, a lifetime later, the Parole Board’s excuse for denying him parole. He’s almost 79. Give him freedom for his birthday.

On Jan. 26, 2018, I was served papers informing me that the California Board of Parole Hearings granted my application for hearing to determine if it meets the standards for release in accordance with the federal three-judge order requiring release of elderly prisoners who are 60 years of age or older and have served 25 years or more.

On or about Oct. 10, 2014, the federal judges ordered the California governor and Parole Board to reduce the prison population. That’s what prompted the plan to release elderly prisoners.

The Board commissioners and the governor entered into a delaying agreement to stall for time, toying with their old loophole howl of suitability for parole and protection of public safety. That loophole put pressure on judges for a long time to refrain from correcting prison overcrowding and upholding the three-judge order.

The loophole worked as a stalling tactic, but they never changed the law. The Board and governor remain mandated to respect the law against de facto denial of parole for elderly prisoners with a life sentence.

In 1963, I was sentenced by the Superior Court judge in Los Angeles County to seven years to life upon conviction for kidnap to rob for $10.

On Aug. 7, 1970, I attempted to bust out of San Quentin Prison upon joining others who seized the Marin County Courthouse tor approximately 20 minutes. It’s a long story regarding the Marin County Courthouse Rebellion, and it’s never been told. That does not make me pose a threat to the public if I’m released in accordance with the three-judge order.

On Jan. 23, 1975, a Superior Court of Santa Clara County judge sentenced my person to seven years to life for kidnap to run together with the L.A. County sentence.

I was sentenced under the old law, Penal Code 1168, where 17 years was the maximum prison term.

I have served more than 54 years in the California state prison, the longest held political prisoner in the world.

In order to hold me beyond the court’s sentence, the two deputy prosecutors, Timothy A. Reardon and Pete Plores, both out of the California Attorney General’s Office with family in high judicial places, were able to loophole pressure the parole commissioners to avoid complying with the old matrix, which mandates release after a 17-year prison term for kidnap.

I have served more than 54 years in the California state prison, the longest held political prisoner in the world.

These two corrupted prosecutors will not show their face in any open court where pending habeas and other civil action shows documented jury acquittal, which eliminated the 1970 de facto indictment charge of kidnap. Therefore, they were able to manipulate the Board commissioners for decades with loopholes lip service about the nature of the 1970 kidnap offense. In court, the evidence shows the January 1975 sentence is DOUBLE JEOPARDY PROSECUTION, used to criminalize my person.

I am not in prison as a result of posing a threat to public safety. I’m in prison because of so many injustices carried out by these two racists, Reardon and Flores, dragging other law enforcement into the racist circle or box that includes committing assault on the jury system. All this has gone unnoticed by the public.

Even with the acquittal supporting my actual innocence, proving me not the criminal these racist clowns made me out to appear, but not considered by the Board, the three judge order mandates my release based on my age and the prison term I have served.

Theft of liberty is one thing, but theft of health is another that requires some independent investigation for corruption out of hand. Other prisoners require release pursuant to the three-judge order.

In my case, it has been a loophole secret keeping the jury acquittal suppressed and manipulating the Parole Board for compiling lip service about the nature of Magee’s 1970 offense. There is no evidence that Magee would pose a threat to public safety if released by the Board.

Theft of liberty is one thing, but theft of health is another that requires some independent investigation for corruption out of hand. Other prisoners require release pursuant to the three-judge order.

Imprisonment for decades by racists with a law badge is a mind boggling high level conspiracy to hide the truth and deny my freedom. It says a lot about the meaning of the word justice and its use as a tool of slavery practiced under color of law, which must be enforced and respected.

Many of us know what kind of justice the racists with a law badge believe in. Their racist talk is like a terrorist bomb thrown into the middle of a crowd.

I know how the language is worded in the three-judge order, requiring release of elderly prisoners. Accordingly, we are suitable who are 60 years old or older and have served 25 years or more.

It is taking years for the Board commissioners to understand the federal judges’ order requiring prison population reduction, because the commissioners refuse to refrain from listening to the prosecutors, whose lip-service in my trial was 99 percent fraud and one percent law words misapplied.

I know how the language is worded in the three-judge order, requiring release of elderly prisoners. Accordingly, we are suitable who are 60 years old or older and have served 25 years or more.

Prisoners’ supporters can learn a new education regarding the Parole Board’s operation by focusing on who carries the most weight – the federal judges or the racists controlling the Parole Board when it comes to public safety and the law.

The Board commissioners know the impact of my release would end the loophole hiding the jury’s acquittal.

Peoples concerned can write a plain letter to: Board of Parole Hearings, CMC-1 Hwy, Office of the Board, San Luis Obispo, CA 93409. Your letter must be titled: File No. A92051, Magee, R. Make a plain claim that Ruchell has a three-judge order right to release – as opposed to whether the Board should or should not find him suitable based on loopholes and a misplaced sense of fair play.

People’s lives are worth more than racists’ lip-service about protecting the public.

I remain, Ruchell Cinque Magee

Send our brother some love and light: Ruchell Cinque Magee, A-92051, B3-270, P.O. Box 8101, San Luis Obispo, CA 93409.

Legendary activist Kiilu Nyasha asks you to join her in demanding freedom for Ruchell Cinque Magee

When you read this letter, please know and understand the following facts:

Ruchell is now 78 years old and will turn 79 in March. I have no trouble recalling his age; he’s just two months older than I.

He’s eligible for parole for several reasons, the most obvious of which is the federal three-judge order to release elderly prisoners to reduce the prison population that he points to in the letter. He also notes he’s (probably) the longest-held political prisoner in the world – 54 years!

I met Ruchell Cinque Magee 47 years ago in the holding cell of the Marin County Courthouse in the summer of 1971. Ru was soft-spoken, warm and gentlemanly in typically Southern tradition.

Originally from Franklinton, La., he was falsely charged with “attempted rape” for being with a White girl in KKK territory. He was 16 and sentenced to the infamous Angola State Prison.

He’s eligible for parole for several reasons, the most obvious of which is the federal three-judge order to release elderly prisoners to reduce the prison population that he points to in the letter. He also notes he’s (probably) the longest-held political prisoner in the world – 54 years!

On release eight years later, he was banished from the small town of his birth and forced to move to L.A. An only child, his mother died while he was incarcerated and – on information and belief – her house was confiscated, depriving Ru of his inheritance.

I had just returned to California from New Haven, Conn. Already familiar with courtroom injustice, racism and bias against Black defendants witnessed in two capital trials, it didn’t come as a surprise that Ruchell was getting a raw deal in the Marin Courtroom where he was frequently removed for outbursts of sheer frustration.

Ruchell took on the name Cinque after trying to escape his illegal incarceration of seven years – seven years in slavery. An African slave, Cinque, escaped the slave ship Amistad and established the right to escape slavery in Connecticut. In Ru’s own words, “Slavery 400 years ago, slavery today – it’s the same but with a new name.”

When the 17-year-old Jonathan Jackson invaded the Marin Courtroom Aug, 7, 1970, armed to the teeth, Ruchell seized the hour to join the rebellion with William Christmas and James McClain, on trial for assaulting a guard in the wake of the murder of Fred Billingsley, another murder of a Black prisoner. All were shot and killed except Ru, who suffered a serious wound and lay unconscious. For more information on Ruchell and Black August, you can access my blogspot, http://kiilunyasha.blogspot.com/.

Please take the time to write letters to the governor, legislators, lots of editors and online publications, and spread it all over social media. Fifty-four years in prison is outrageous! Let our brother live out his life in relative freedom for goodness sake. As far as I know, Ruchell has never physically assaulted anyone. He is truly a political prisoner.

Revolutionary journalist and former Black Panther Kiilu Nyasha can be reached at kiilu2@sbcglobal.net.

One thought on “Ruchell Magee, longest held political prisoner in the world, heads to parole hearing

  1. Joe Bryak

    Somehow Ruchell Magee got separated from Angela Davis's case and she was let off and he's still there, half a century later. There he was, coincidentally in the courtroom that day behind whatever, all behind a chickenshit case involving a $10 bag of weed, when Jonathan Jackson burst into the courtroom wtih some scheme to hold judge n jury in exchange for the release of his imprisoned brother, George Jackson.
    Ruchell Magee had already served 7 years for some jive charge, and here unexpectedly was someone offering him freedom! Without a moment's hesitation he grabbed the gun Jonathan Jackson threw him and joined in for what amounted to maybe a minute of the illusion of freedom, till he was gunned down.
    What an unbelievable nightmare! And here he is, half a century later! Come on, dammit, let the man go! Enough already! He was just sitting in court, minding his own business! Had no idea what was going to go down! Let go!

    Reply

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