Tags Herman Bell
Tag: Herman Bell
“I just got a call from a very happy Cisco who got the news yesterday that the case against him was dismissed,” writes Kiilu Nyasha. “The San Francisco 8 case dragged on for over four years while we struggled to mount a campaign to free them.”
“Imprisonment is an aspect of class struggle from the outset. It is the creation of a closed society which attempts to isolate those individuals who disregard the structures of a hypocritical establishment, as well as those who attempt to challenge it on a mass basis.” – Comrade George Jackson, field marshal of the Black Panther Party
Pack the courtroom Thursday, Feb. 18, 9 a.m., in Dept. 22, 850 Bryant St., San Francisco, to support the only remaining SF 8 defendant, Francisco Torres, who will be in the courtroom! Dismiss Cisco’s case, a 36-year-old case based on torture!
As San Francisco grapples with a looming budget crisis, Public Defender Jeff Adachi is seeking $2 million in state reimbursement to the City for its defense of eight men charged in a 1971 homicide case involving a police officer. The city’s right to reimbursement is based on the fact that the California Attorney General took on the 36-year-old case after the San Francisco District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute.
Jenny Kang, attorney for political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom), writes: “Attached is a petition to New York Gov. Paterson requesting that Jalil be granted parole or have his sentence commuted. He would very much appreciate your support in signing the petition and sending it to Gov. Paterson. Please feel free to widely distribute the petition.” Jalil, one of the San Francisco 8, made the ultimate sacrifice on July 6, when he pled “no contest” in exchange for the dismissal of all charges against four of his brothers. As a token of our love and appreciation, readers are urged to print this letter, sign it and mail it to Gov. Paterson. – ed.
Let there be absolutely no misunderstanding about this plea I took. The SF8 case was complex, and not everyone in the case had the same legal issues. Because of this, I took a plea because I believed it was the right thing to do for me and the case itself. And this could well make my parole chances in New York even more difficult. Still, the plea was well worth taking because it led to Jalil Muntaqim’s plea, which resulted in charges being dismissed against Hank Jones, Ray Boudreaux, Harold Taylor and Richard Brown – but, unfortunately, not Francisco Torres. There is hope still that charges against Cisco will be dismissed, and if he should go to trial, we support him.
Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim are both well aware that there is no justice in the U.S. courts for us – there’s just us, as we used to say. Jalil did a great job of making sure all four co-defendants would have their charges dropped before making this decision that I know he did not want to make.
What was amazing about the hearing Monday was the prosecution’s admission that it didn’t have enough evidence to convict these men. As attorney Daro Inouye said of Jalil Muntaqim, who pled no contest to the prosecution’s charge of conspiracy, his client picked up a loaded grenade to save his brothers, his friends, his fellow defendants, and he didn’t plead guilty. That language did not pass his lips.
A few days ago, Herman Bell accepted a plea bargain from the prosecution and will be returning to New York for his parole hearing as soon as California gets him on a return flight. The news was greeted soberly and from some quarters with bemusement.
San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar announced June 8 to 300 people rallying at 850 Bryant that he would introduce a resolution to the Board of Supervisors calling on California Attorney General Jerry Brown to drop the charges against the San Francisco 8. "San Francisco does not tolerate torture," he said, braving the wrath of the Police Officers Association, who evidently tolerate torture in defense of one of their own.
Will the Obama-Nation become an abomination if it fails to stop the bombing of nations? From Gaza to Afghanistan, the American people must take a stand and tell Obama to forge a better plan to free the land.
I trust you will carefully consider using your gubernatorial powers to grant clemency to Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim in the New York case and parole to warrant in the San Francisco case.
When imprisoned and placed in an isolation unit, you begin to live inside yourself, measuring how you are doing against the challenges that you are confronted by to gauge how well you are getting on.
Herman Bell arrived from New York in late May 2007 to face this extremely unjust prosecution of eight former Black Panthers and community activists. Confinement in the San Francisco County Jail has been devastating to what little quality of life Herman and Jalil Muntaqim have experienced in New York prisons for three decades.
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