Saturday, July 11, 2009

Freethe SF8] Jalil Muntaqim

Freethe SF8] Jalil Muntaqim
fyi... kudos to Daro Inouye of SF Public Defenders office and the AA Committee for the SF8... for those who don't yet know, the CA State prosecutors finally admitted they didn't have the evidence. Dropped the charges of 4--Harold Taylor, Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown & Hank Jones--Bell & Muntaquim pled no contest so they can continue their freedom struggle in NY; and Francisco Torres is still pending (and hopefully charges will also be dropped).
Wareware wa keshite makenai!
(We will never be silent)
The following information does not necessarily represent the views of the sender. Please disseminate widely.

Begin forwarded message:

From: SF-8 case <>
Date: 07 July 2009 17:10:43 PDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: [Freethe SF8] Jalil Muntaqim - My Statement on the SF8 Plea Deal

July 6, 2009

TO: Friends and Supporters
DT: July 6, 2009
RE: My Statement on the S.F. 8 Plea Agreement

First, I would like to thank all my friends and supporters for their tenacious and tireless work in support of the S.F.8, especially the San Francisco 8 Support Committee, Committee in Defense of Human Rights, Asian-Americans Committee for the S.F. 8, Freedom Archives, and many others. I wish to thank the excellent legal team whose unwavering commitment to the task was inspiring. I especially want to thank the lawyers who did the majority of the behind-the-scenes legwork by name: Soffiyah Elijah, Jenny Kang, Julie de Almeida, Heather Hardwick, Rai Sue Sussman, and Lori Flowers. This team of women suffering the testosterone of as many as ten male lead attorneys, plus the eight men accused, truly had their feminist code tested. Naturally, I want to thank the most noted private investigators, Adam Raskin and Nancy Pemberton, whose investigative technique and services were outstanding.

Today we were to start the preliminary hearing but because of our strong legal defense team and growing public support, the California prosecutor offered plea settlements that could not be ignored. The entire group discussed whether I would plead no contest to conspiracy to manslaughter. After some discussion, I reluctantly agreed to take the plea and be sentenced to 3 years probation; 1 year of jail time, credit for time served, concurrent with New York State sentence, dismissing 1st degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Also, because of my plea, four other defendants would have all charges dismissed for insufficient evidence. This was a no-brainer especially considering the elder brothers suffered a variety of health issues ranging from high blood pressure, chronic respiratory problems, diabetes, PTSD, and prostate cancer. Although I have my own health issues, in my near 38 years of imprisonment, I believe I am in better shape than all four combined (Ha). In the last 25 years prior to these charges being lodged, the brothers had been living peaceful and productive lives raising their families, and offering community services. During the period from their release on bail to this date, they had been running themselves ragged across the country telling the story of Cointelpro destruction of the Black Panther Party, the Legacy of Torture, and building support for the case. While I would have liked to have continued the legal fight to what I believe would have resulted in complete exoneration of all charges, I know the jury system is fickle. I have seen too many innocent men in prison who fought with the conviction of being innocent after a reasonable plea bargain was offered, and they ultimately lost due to prosecutorial misconduct, defense attorney errors, improper jury instructions by a judge, and/or a fickle jury. Unfortunately, their loss results in spending decades in prison fighting for a reversal or waiting to be released on parole, or in the worst cases, death row DNA exonerations. The American judicial system is nowhere near being without flaws, as the overwhelming number of Black men in prison sorely attests. Given these circumstances, my taking this plea is a bitter-sweet win-win.

Finally, I would like to thank with profound appreciation my attorneys Daro Inouye, a 30+ year veteran of the San Francisco Public Defenders Office, whose trial experiences and skills are incomparable; and Mark Goldrosen, a remarkable, selfless trial technician and writer whose understanding of both State and Federal law brought the court (and some of the attorneys) to task.

A luta continua - Jalil

Please support these brothers by sending a donation. Make checks payable to CDHR/Agape and mail to the address below or donate on line:

Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR)
PO Box 90221
Pasadena, CA 91109
(415) 226-1120

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.