January 6, 2008

State Repression: The Good News...

[This report came in yesterday from organizers for the National Jericho Movement. The wheels may be coming off of the ugly revanchist effort to railroad 8 former members of the Black Panther Party into jail on charges of killing a San Francisco police officer--in 1971. One clear motive of the state in pursuing this case is to counteract the reversal of verdicts in frame-up cases that had kept former Panthers jailed for decades, like Geronimo ji-Jaga. They may have picked up a rock only to drop it on their own feet, however, because the previous trial of one of the 8, Harold Taylor, was thrown out of court because he had been savagely tortured. Bringing the case back up now proves once again that torture is not reserved for Iraqis swept into Abu Ghraib, but is practiced by the police right here at home as a matter of course.]

Important Victory in San Francisco 8 Case!

Prosecutors in the San Francisco 8 case announced that they are filing an amended complaint, in effect dropping the conspiracy count against 5 of the brothers, because the statute of limitations (of 3 years on conspiracy) has expired. This is a result of defense motions filed recently that challenged the complaint on the basis of expired statute of limitations.

Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown, Hank Jones and Harold Taylor now only face one count, the alleged murder of a San Francisco police officer in 1971. The case against Richard O'Neal must now be dismissed, since he was originally charged only in the second count.

The prosecutors will argue that the statute of limitations did not expire against Herman Bell, Jalil Muntaqim and Francisco Torres as they were not residents in California during the last 35 years. "This is a ridiculous argument," according to defense attorney Stuart Hanlon, "as these men were forcefully removed from the state against their will by being imprisoned. Following his acquittal on charges in New York State, Cisco Torres was living in New York City. All 3 were consistently available to California State prosecutors." This legal point will be argued in the upcoming San Francisco hearing on January 10th, and their lawyers will ask that the conspiracy count be dropped against the other 3 men.

This is a major victory in this case which rests on statements coerced under torture. "This is the first step in the government's case falling apart," Hanlon said.

1 comment:

blackstone said...

I posted a similar update on my blog as well. I'm glad to hear this.