Category Archives: Legal System

A glimmer of hope arises in Mumia Abu Jamal murder conviction

mumia_abu-jamal_09-18-2018.jpg

In a packed courtroom on Aug. 30 at the Juanita Kidd Stout Criminal Justice Center before Judge Leon Tucker, Mr. Abu Jamal’s attorney Judith Ritter successfully argued that a May 5, 1988, letter from the office of then-District Attorney Ron Castille to a state representative discussing death penalty cases was important. Later, as a state Supreme Court justice, Mr. Castille was personally involved in the case.

He refused to disqualify himself when Mr. Jamal’s case came before the high court despite having been the Philadelphia district attorney during prior appeals. The United States Supreme Court ruled such conduct was unconstitutional.

Judge Tucker extended the period of discovery to allow the search for more evidence that may link  Justice Castille to the new document. The new court date for arguments is scheduled for Oct. 29

Source: A glimmer of hope arises in Mumia Abu Jamal murder conviction

In Tulsa, a century-old race massacre still haunts Black Wall Street

Olivia Hooker was 6 years old in 1921 — the year she witnessed the massacre. (Family photo)

Olivia Hooker, 103, poses at her White Plains home. Hooker is one of the last surviving witnesses of the Tulsa Race Massacre. (Michael Noble Jr. for The Washington Post

B.C. Franklin, a Greenwood lawyer and the father of famed historian John Hope Franklin, wrote a rare firsthand account of the massacre later donated to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“The sidewalk was literally covered with burning turpentine balls,” he wrote. “For fully forty-eight hours, the fires raged and burned everything in its path and it left nothing but ashes and burned safes and trunks and the like that were stored in beautiful houses and businesses.”

On June 1, 1921, martial law was declared. Troops rounded up black men, women and children and detained them for days.

Source: In Tulsa, a century-old race massacre still haunts Black Wall Street – The Washington Post

Sugar Land: ‘A crime against humanity’ – Workers World

Sugar Land, Texas — “The ‘convict lease system’ was a crime against humanity. It began right after enslaved people won their freedom. People have made millions of dollars off the free labor of our enslaved and imprisoned ancestors,” said Kofi Taharka, national chair of the National Black United Front. As she spoke, she was standing across the street from the old Imperial Sugar factory.

Ninety-five graves were unearthed in Sugar Land this summer as construction workers were building a school on property sold to the school district by the Texas prison system

Source: Sugar Land: ‘A crime against humanity’ – Workers World

Source: The Mass Grave Beneath a Texas Suburb

Israel Argues It Can Annex Any Land, Defy Any International Law

Indeed, it is an open secret that Israel is set to completely annex the occupied West Bank. In July, UN official Michael Lynk warned:

After years of creeping Israeli de facto annexation of large swathes of the West Bank through settlement expansion, the creation of closed military zones and other measures, Israel appears to be getting closer to enacting legislation that will formally annex parts of the West Bank.”

Since Lynk’s warning, several bills seeking to essentially annex the West Bank have been introduced in the Israeli Knesset, such as a controversial bill that would allow Israeli Jewish citizens to purchase Palestinian land in “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, paving the way for its eventual incorporation into Israeli territory. Area C accounts for more than 60 percent of the West Bank’s total territory.

Source: Israel Argues It Can Annex Any Land, Defy Any International Law

How a racist hate-monger formed America’s War on Drugs

From the beginning, Anslinger conflated drug use, race, and music. “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” he was quoted as saying. “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”

Source: How a racist hate-monger formed America’s War on Drugs

‘The Global Imagination of 1968: Revolution and Counterrevolution’ – by Shaka Zulu

September 24, 2018

by Shaka Zulu

We are struggling with how best to marshal our revolutionary forces – how best to raise the political temperature of cadre and oppressed people alike – in a society as fascist as Mussolini’s Italy was. Organizations, groups and collectives are rightfully confused because they have an incorrect political understanding of the nature of the class forces arrayed against the people, and this incorrect political knowledge leads to incorrect political analysis.

So, have the courage to read Comrade Katsiaficas’s “1968” book. You will discover how to develop the living soul of activism. “1968” is a seminal study in revolutionary activity. Period.

It will not make you get off the couch. It will not force you to be other than who you are, but what it will do is give you a start on how to internationalize our movement and politics.

All Power! Panther Love!

Chairman Shaka Zulu, New Afrikan Black Panther Party

Source: San Francisco Bay View

US threatens to arrest ICC judges who probe war crimes | AFP.com

US National Security Advisor John Bolton, pictured in Jerusalem in August 2018, described the International Criminal Court as ‘outright dangerous’

The United States threatened Monday to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes

Source: US threatens to arrest ICC judges who probe war crimes | AFP.com

Reports back from the first week of the 2018 National Prison Strike

It’s clear that prison officials are doing all that they can to suppress strike actions and prisoners’ organizing of the strike. However, prisoners are rising up in institutions across the country – and now internationally – in protest of the living and working conditions in the prisons.

National Prison Strike

 

National Prison Strike

Men and women incarcerated in prisons across the nation declare a nationwide strike in response to the riot in Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison in South Carolina. Seven comrades lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology. These men and women are demanding humane living conditions, access to rehabilitation, sentencing reform and the end of modern day slavery.

Source: National Prison Strike – Sawarimi.org

Political prisoner of war Robert Seth Hayes paroled after 45 years

         

(left picture) Robert Seth Hayes holds his little granddaughter Myaisha Hayes in an old photo. Imagine the joy of of reuniting in (relative) freedom with the family who have supported him over the decades.
(right picture) Uncle Baba Seth is visited by Imani Hayes, 12, Sister Yah and Valerie last November.

Amsterdam News, Aug. 9, 2018 – Having been incarcerated since 1973, original Black Panther activist Robert Seth Hayes, 69, was released on parole last Tuesday. He joins a short list of revolutionaries from the 1960s and 1970s who are now hitting New York’s streets as elderly men after spending decades in the belly of the beast, simply for fighting for their freedom.

Hayes denied participating in the June 1973 Bronx shooting death of New York Transit cop Sidney Thompson, but he was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life nonetheless. He had been hit with “five counts of murder, attempted murder, third degree criminal possession of a weapon and multiple counts of robbery.”

Even though he has maintained a clean disciplinary prison record, has been eligible for parole since 1998 and has been in poor health in recent years, he has continuously been denied after each hearing, every two years. The Parole Board argued that “he remained a threat to society.”

After 10 failed attempts, he was finally granted parole on his 11th try, 20 years later.

Hayes was granted parole and released July 24, 2018, having met all criteria for release according to his sentence,” read a statement from the New York City Jericho Movement. “The parole commissioners recognized his progress after serving 45 years in prison and granted his parole application at his 11th parole hearing. He is looking forward to being reunited with his family and friends. We welcome him home! We spoke with Seth today, and he is grateful to all of his friends and supporters. Once he gets settled in, he plans to write a statement of his own.”

There are still more than two dozen “political prisoners of war” who remain captured behind enemy lines. Ten have died while there, since 2010. Many of the militants were in their early twenties when they joined revolutionary organizations and took up arms to combat police terrorism. They fought for Black Power, and many were framed and incarcerated, or lost their lives in the trenches while fighting.

To quote late, great one-time “prisoner in exile” Herman Ferguson, “Free ‘em all!”

This story first appeared at http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2018/aug/09/political-prisoner-war-robert-seth-hayes-paroled-a/.

Printed with permission of San Francisco Bay View and
The Amsterdam News