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

Via our friends at 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.

Sundiata is a 75 year old grandfather who has long been rehabilitated, has long satisfied all requirements for parole and has no or “little likelihood of committing another crime:” which is the main criterion for parole in New Jersey. Sundiata is an old man, in declining health, who wishes to live out the rest of his days in peace tending his grandchildren.

Send letters urging the board that “39 years is enough! Release Sundiata Acoli! NJ #54859/Fed #39794-066” Address the INSIDE LETTER to: The New Jersey State Parole Board, P.O. Box 862, Trenton NJ 08625, BUT ADDRESS/MAIL THE ENVELOPE TO:
Florence Morgan,Esq.
120-46 Queens Blvd.
Queens NY 11415

and the letter will be forwarded to the parole board after a copy is made for SAFC files.

Thank you for your support. Please keep in touch with at The Sundiata Acoli Freedom Page to stay abreast of Sundiata’s parole situation and additional ways you can express support/solidarity with his parole effort. Sundiata and his Freedom Campaign, SAFC, send their sincerest condolences to the family and comrades of Christian Gomez, the prisoner who died in the California Prisoner’s Hunger Strike – and we send our warmest shout out of solidarity and strength to all those participating in or supporting the California Prisoner’s Hunger Strike.

Herman Bell denied parole… again.

New York State Political Prisoner Herman Bell convicted of the 1971 killing of two New York City Police Officers appeared before the parole board for the fifth time on March 21, 2012. Despite an unblemished institutional record for nearly 40 years, a viable release plan and even support for release from the family of one of the deceased officers, the panel rejected release as “incompatible with the welfare of society” because it “would deprecate the seriousness of the offense.”

The three-person (two white, one Black) panel consisted of a former prosecutor, a former police detective and a victims’ rights advocate.

Herman is of course disappointed but is otherwise in good spirits. He plans to appeal the decision. Most importantly, he thanks all those who supported his release and urges everyone to support parole release for New York State PPs Jalil Muntaquin and Robert Seth Hayes both of whom go before the Board in June 2012.

Revolutionary greetings and callout for support from BLA POW Robert Seth Hayes

Revolutionary greetings, dear comrades, friends and supporters.

This is Robert Seth Hayes, a former member of the Black Panther Party and a Black Liberation Army combatant. Still incarcerated, yet still progressing, I am determined to have closure to an era of Civil Rights struggles. To those of you who have been partners in solidarity, I extend my arms to enfold you, let the vibration of my beating heart, surround and comfort you. And may my spirit ever illuminate as a light along the path, as you continue your journey of making history. Greetings of profound respect. To all the Sisters and Brothers new to this all inclusive struggle: welcome, thank you, your support and attention are sorely needed.

In June of 2012 I will return to the New York State parole board, and again apply for release. After being originally incarcerated in 1973, I first came up for parole in 1998, and have continued to receive two year hits since then. At present, we are again engaged in fund raising mode for our new legal strategy and have our work cut out for us. We are our own liberators, so we again ask you for assistance.

June of 2012 is the next date where we will again meet our opposition and enter the fight for freedom. We have already accomplished much, but the battle resumes and again we must be prepared.

Please assist us with whatever funds you can contribute in this on going fight to free all PP/POW’s.

Please send contributions for the Legal Defense Fund for Robert Seth Hayes to our director: Nate Buckley, 438 Massachusetts avenue, Buffalo, NY 14213.

If you wish to send a letter to the parole commissioners requesting my release and asking them to bring closure to both our fallen freedom fighters and our communities as a whole, send your letters c/o Cheryl L. Kates, P.C., Attorney At Law, PO Box 734, Victor NY 14564.

Your efforts are honored and appreciated. Stay Strong.

Know that your love and support provides support and strengthens my and others determination to prevail.

As a political prisoner and prisoner of war, I extend to you much love and admiration, from the many who are confined, but who remain still at the heart of the struggle. Much love to you!

With honor and respect, love and solidarity,

Robert Seth Hayes