Tag Archive: legal update

Political prisoner Coyote Sheff is scheduled release Nov 8th!

coyotesheff2From Portland Anarchist Black Cross

It is a time to celebrate!!!Comrade Coyote Sheff is scheduled to be released from Ely State Penitentiary on November 8th, 2013. He has some good time coming to him, so he may be released sooner than that. He will not be paroled and will have done all his time so he will not be a continued ward of the state. As you may know Coyote has been organizing the Ely Prison chapter of ABC and have plans to continue organizing upon his release, in Olympia WA. He is planning on moving there with his mother and would like to continue his work with writing, educating and organizing. As you know this transition is going to be challenging for him, as he has spent most of his adult life behind enemy lines, and the last three of those years in solitary, a direct punishment for his radical organizing. (more…)

Luke has been Indicted

Luke-is-the-fucking-greatest-300x300From Let Luke Go

The Fulton County Superior Court has indicted Luke. This means that the DA is pursuing prosecution. Luke’s lawyer appeared in court on the 27th of august for arraignment and submitted a not guilty plea. Because the case is going to trial Luke is going to have significantly more legal fees. It is yet unclear what those will look like but every bit helps. We are also asking that people call the DA’s office to demand the charges on Luke be dropped:  (404) 612-4981. As of yet we are largely in the dark about what is happening and what will happen but we will keep you updated as we find out.

SLDC

Pelican Bay solitary confinement case set to expand

guardtowerpelicanbayFrom Los Angeles Times

OAKLAND — A federal judge Thursday said she is likely to allow a lawsuit alleging that solitary confinement conditions at Pelican Bay State Prison amount to psychological torture, to be expanded from the cases of 10 prisoners to include about 1,100 inmates now held in indefinite isolation.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken expressed concern at a hearing, however, that changes the state has made in how it identifies inmates for isolation means those prisoners won’t be included in the pending class-action lawsuit.

What’s more, lawyers for the state say they are in the process of moving some existing prisoners out of confinement in Pelican Bay’s super-maximum security isolation cells.

“I’m wondering how I would manage a class that has people moving in and out,” Wilken said. Nevertheless, she used Thursday’s hearing in Oakland to set Nov. 3, 2014, for the trial. Her ruling over whether that trial will be a class action, or remain confined to the few inmates who filed the case, is yet to be decided. (more…)

Angola 3: Albert Woodfox has conviction overturned for a third time

alberthermanFrom Angola 3 News:

Today, February 26, District Court Judge Brady released a 34-page ruling that granted habeas to Albert on the issue of racial discrimination in the selection of the grand jury foreperson for his 1998 retrial. This decision now overturns Albert’s conviction for a third time.

In the 34-page ruling, Judge Brady reviews the arguments of both sides and concludes that Albert’s team used the correct baseline for comparison, and that using that baseline, the discrimination is statistically significant no matter which tests are used. It was the State’s burden in these proceedings to prove that there was a race neutral procedure in place for selecting forepersons. Judge Brady agreed with Albert that the State failed to do this.

Just as when Judge Brady overturned Albert’s conviction in 2008, the State is now expected to appeal today’s ruling to the 5th Circuit. Therefore, nothing is certain except that the legal team and A3 supporters will not stop fighting until this ruling is affirmed by the 5th Circuit and Albert is finally a free man. (more…)

UPDATE: North Carolina Latin Kings file motion for new trial

free the kingsFrom YES! Weekly

Jorge Cornell and two other defendants in the North Carolina Latin Kings racketeering trial have filed a motion for a new trial.

Cornell, Russell Kilfoil and Ernesto were each convicted of racketeering by a federal jury in Winston-Salem last month. Cornell was convicted of two additional counts for a violent crime in aid of racketeering and carrying or using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence — both related to a shooting at Ashley Creek Apartment Homes in Greensboro in 2008.

The motion for a new trial, which was filed on Dec. 5, contends that the jury was confused or misunderstood the court’s instructions for dealing with predicate acts. The motion notes that the jurors asked for clarification, but the judge simply referred them back to his earlier instructions. (more…)

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL ILLEGALLY SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Rachel Wolkenstein (917) 689-4009
August 21, 2012

On August 13, 2012, without any notice and in violation of his constitutional rights and state law, Mumia Abu-Jamal was formally sentenced by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe to life imprisonment without parole. The impact of this illegal sentencing is to prevent a possible challenge to the slow death of life imprisonment. All sentences, including “mandatory” sentences, require a formal proceeding allowing the person to be sentenced the right to be heard and to challenge his sentence. (more…)

Sundiata Acoli Denied Parole

From Prison Radio

Greetings All,
Sundiata’s Parole Hearing was held today, he was denied parole and his case referred to a 3-member panel to determine the size of his “hit:” (i.e., the amount of time he must do before becoming eligible for parole hearing again.) One of our finest freedom fighters, former member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, you can find more info on his website: www.sundiataacoli.org. He has already done nearly 40 years in Federal prisons and is now 74 years old. Please send him some love:
(Sundiata Acoli)
Clark Squire #39794-066
FCI Cumberland
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. BOX 1000
Cumberland, MD 21501-1000

 

BLA prisoner Sundiata Acoli wins appeal on parole denial, granted new parole hearing

From Freedom Archives:

Attorney Bruce Afran’s appeal of Sundiata Acoli’s parole-denial and 10 year hit resulted in the New Jersey Appellate Court’s remand to the NJ Parole Board that its 10 year hit be cut to 2 years. It was done and Sundiata has become immediately eligible for a parole hearing again. The Appellate Court must still rule on Sundiata’s 2010 denial of parole but meanwhile he’s preparing to go before the parole board again for his newly won 2012 parole hearing. In that regards he would greatly appreciate any and all letters sent to the parole board urging that he be released.

Sundiata is 75 years of age and has been in prison 39 years resulting from a stop of his car by state troopers on the NJ Turnpike, in 1973, which erupted in gunfire that resulted in the death of his passenger, Zayd Shakur, and a state trooper, Werner Foerster. The other passenger, Assata Shakur, was critically wounded and captured on the scene where another trooper, James Harper, was also wounded. Sundiata was wounded at the scene, captured in the woods 40 hours later and subsequently sentenced to life in NJ State prison.

Sundiata is now the longest held prisoner in New Jersey’s history of similar convictions. He has maintained an outstanding record in prison and has had only a few minor disciplinary reports over the past 30 years and none during the last 16 years. He’s also maintained an excellent work and scholastic record and has always been a positive influence in prison, particularly in mentoring prisoners toward becoming crime-free benefactors to the community upon return to society and thereby break their cycle of recidivism. (more…)

Justin Solondz Sentenced to 7 Years

Cross Posted from The Seattle Times

Justin Solondz, 32, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to seven years in prison for his role in the 2001 arson at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture. Damage in the fire was estimated at more than $6 million.

Solondz  pleaded guilty in December to charges of conspiracy and arson under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, who agreed to recommend the seven-year prison sentence. The defense also sought a seven-year term. (more…)

Richmond: Anarchist Jeremy Hawthorne sentenced to 12 months

From the Wingnut Anarchist Collective:

Today was Jeremy Hawthorne’s trial for charges brought against him back in September. Numerous posts on this website and others (www.richmondlegalsupport.org) detail the charges and circumstances around them. He was facing felony charges for vandalism that happened to 7 tires of VCU vehicles, including 2 cop cars in August.

Over 40 friends showed up to the court building today to show their love and support for Jeremy. It was clear that he is part of a large community that likes and appreciates him.

Unfortunately, today he was found guilty. There were many aspects of this case which were bogus, including the last minute cancellation of his lawyer, leaving him stranded with a public defender unfamiliar with the case. Jeremy was found guilty of Felony Destruction of State Property worth greater than 1000 dollars. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail, and a fine of over 1300 dollars (the alleged cost of replacing the tires).

Fortunately, Jeremy is being allowed to remain out of jail until April 6th, when the details of his sentence will be decided in court. His lawyer will also hopefully be able to begin an appeal process before that date. We hope that court on April 6th and any future appeal dates go in Jeremy’s favor. (more…)