Last of the San Francisco 8 Charges Cleared


Judge Philip Moscone signed and filed an order dismissing charges against Francisco Torres late Thursday, August 18, 2011.

Previously the conspiracy charge against Francisco Torres was dropped and all charges against five were dropped (Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown, Hank Jones, Richard O’Neal and Harold Taylor). Jalil Muntaqim and Herman Bell pleaded no contest/guilty to reduced charge of conspiracy / manslaughter with no prison sentence. This left a single charge against Cisco – see the Open Letter calling for the charge to be dropped.

After 40 years, the government’s case against eight former Black Panther Party members and supporters has almost completely unraveled. (See the SF 8 statement of August 2009). The eight were arrested January 23, 2007 in California, New York, and Florida on charges related to the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer. Similar charges had been brought in 1975, but a California judge tossed out the charges, finding that they were based on statements made by three of the men after police in New Orleans tortured them for several days employing electric shock, cattle prods, beatings, sensory deprivation, plastic bags and hot, wet blankets for asphyxiation.

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