Last of the San Francisco 8 Charges Cleared

From freethesf8.org:

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.

Richard Brown: The SF8 and FBI Repression

Video by Angola 3 News

In this video, Richard Brown, of the San Francisco Eight, speaks at a protest outside the US Federal Court Building in San Francisco on January 25, 2011. Brown urges the public to support the 23 anti-war activists that were subpoenaed to testify before a Grand Jury that day. All activists refused to testify and can now be criminally charged for not testifying. Learn more, please visit: http://www.stopfbi.net

Richard Brown contextualizes the recent subpoenas with how the SF8 were similarly called before a Grand Jury, and were imprisoned because they refused to testify. Cisco Torres, the last of the SF8 still facing charges, has a court hearing in San Francisco on March 2 that supporters are being urged to attend. Learn more at: http://www.freethesf8.org

–Angola 3 News is a project of the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3. Our website is http://www.angola3news.com where we provide the latest news about the Angola 3. We are also creating our own media projects, which spotlight the issues central to the story of the Angola 3, like racism, repression, prisons, human rights, solitary confinement as torture, and more.

Evidentiary Hearing March 2 for San Francisco 8 Defendant Cisco Torres

In a brief court appearance December 3 for Francisco (Cisco) Torres, Judge Moscone granted the defense motion for an evidentiary hearing and set March 2 as the date. The defense will call retired San Francisco police officer Henry Fikkers to testify about wiretaps he has claimed to know about.

The police, FBI, and prosecution have claimed all along that there were no wiretaps relevant to the case, an assertion which seems absurd on its face given the well documented use of taps on the left and on the Black Panther Party in particular during the time period of the case (1968-1973). However, many of those wiretaps were illegal and courts have thrown out charges in other cases based on their use, so it is no surprise that the state wishes to hide their possible existence in the San Francisco 8 case.

The evidentiary hearing is estimated to last a day and should prove most interesting to any who can come to the courtroom. Cisco plans to be there; he was in court today with a sizable number of supporters including some new faces and some who had been missed, along with some dependable regulars.

Pack the courtroom: Wednesday March 2, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. at 850 Bryant Street in Department 22 (although the courtroom may be changed at the last minute, check with a bailiff if needed).

Even though she has joined the ancestors, our sister Marilyn Buck is still extending her aid in our struggle for justice — it was her unbowed assertion of solidarity with the Black Liberation Movement and the very public celebration of her life at memorials across the country that set off officer Fikkers vile rant that exposed the wiretaps.

Herman Bell denied parole yet again

Herman BellDespite his now 37 years in prison, Herman’s impressive prison record, including his B.A. and M.A., his years of football and basket ball coaching (bringing prisoners together), his years of mentoring and tutoring, his paralegal and HIV-counseling certificates, his founding the Victory Gardens Project, his 3 job offers in SF, his parole recommendations from three SF Supervisors (entrusted with the welfare of San Franciscans), his decades of marriage, his children and grandchildren and 9 siblings offering him a secure homecoming, Herman Bell was denied parole for the fourth consecutive time yesterday. He was told to come back in 24 months, at which time he will be 64 years old. Our love and support greatly help in keeping his spirit indomitable.

– from his family and community

SF8: Francisco Torres Court Hearing Reportback

Free the 8!Francisco Torres, joined by a full courtroom of supporters, noted that it has been over three years since eight former Panthers and activists were charged with a 39-year old case. Today’s’ appearance was brief as the defense continues to demand the turning over of evidence showing that various government agencies are either holding back information or have lost valuable evidence that supports Cisco’s innocence.

The next hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 19th at which time it is expected that significant arguments will begin on the defense motion to dismiss charges based on prejudicial delay in this case. Cisco is the last person facing charges in the San Francisco 8 case.

The SF Board of Supervisors recently voted unanimously to demand that the city be reimbursed by the State of California which is prosecuting the case. To date this prosecution has cost San Francisco over $2 million.

Today’s strong show of support makes clear that despite significant delays, the community continues to stand firm in the demand that the charges against Francisco Torres be dropped.

San Francisco 8: Conspiracy charge against Francisco Torres dropped, still faces murder charges

Free the SF8In court on December 3, the prosecution dropped the conspiracy charge against Francisco (Cisco) Torres, citing lack of evidence. The defense has argued from the beginning that the conspiracy charges against the San Francisco 8 from 37 years ago had no validity because the statute of limitations passed long ago. The state’s motion to dismiss this count two (conspiracy) tacitly acknowledges the defense arguments which had already led to dismissing the conspiracy charges against Richard O’Neal, Herman Bell, Hank Jones, Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown, and Harold Taylor.

Motion to dismiss: prejudicial delay

The next court date is scheduled for January 7 (at 9:00 a.m. in Department 22) when the defense and prosecution will present to the court a joint statement of uncontested facts bearing on the defense motion to dismiss the remaining charge against Cisco (count one, murder) on the grounds of prejudicial delay. If there are contested facts that either side feels is pertinent to the determination of the motion to dismiss then the court on January 7 will decide whether to resolve the issues relative to the contested facts before, during or after the preliminary hearing.

The Preliminary Hearing remains scheduled for February 18, 2010.

San Francisco 8: Next court date for Francisco Torres Approaching

FranciscoFrancisco Torres has a court date scheduled Thursday, 12/3 at 9am,
850 Bryant Street.

It is expected that a date will be set to hear the motion to dismiss
charges against Cisco Torres as well as a date for the preliminary hearing.

Cisco may or may not be present, but it is important that we be a
presence for every court date to show that we are watching and that
community support is powerful.

DROP THE CHARGES AGAINST THE SF 8 – Dismiss the case against Cisco Torres

Sign the Open Letter at http://www.freethesf8.org

San Francisco 8: Call and Fax-in TODAY!

FAX OR CALL JERRY BROWN – ALL DAY TODAY DEMAND ALL CHARGES BE DROPPED AGAINST FRANCISCO TORRES! FREE THE SF8!

Dear friends,
Once again we are asking for your help with a phone and fax campaign to demand that CA Attorney General Jerry Brown drop the charges against Francisco Torres, the last of the SF8 still facing prosecution. Brown has not yet dropped the charges against Francisco Torres, but he knows there is no case against him. He needs to get the message from people all over the country that we will not give up this just demand!

**In order for this fax campaign to be a success, we need you to help spread the word and take a few minutes to make the call and send the fax. Please send as many individual faxes as possible. We want to flood his office! And please also send us an email when you have done so at FreetheSF8@gmail.com

**You can print out and use the attached letter to fax and/or use the phone script below, all to Jerry Brown’s office.

TO CALL:
916-322-3360 #7 for comments

I am calling to demand that Attorney General Jerry Brown drop all charges against Francisco Torres of the San Francisco 8. The state of California recognized that there was insufficient evidence to move forward with the case and dropped charges against four of the men. There is clearly no basis to prosecute Francisco Torres, the only remaining person facing charges in connection with this 38-year old case which is based on torture-coerced evidence. It is an incredible waste of money in this time of severe budget crisis to proceed with this case, and is a huge injustice to Mr. Torres and his family. Drop all charges immediately!

TO FAX:
916-323-5341

Dear Attorney General Jerry Brown:
Thousands of people around the U.S. and the world have joined the call to drop all charges against the San Francisco 8. On July 6th the state of California recognized that there was insufficient evidence to move forward with the case and dropped charges against four of the men. There is clearly no basis to prosecute Francisco Torres, the only remaining person facing charges in connection with this 38-year old case which is based on torture-coerced evidence. It would be an unconscionable waste of tax payer money and an egregious
injustice to Mr. Torres and his family to proceed with this case. I urge you in the strongest possible terms to drop the charges against Francisco Torres immediately!

Sincerely,
Name
Address

COME SUPPORT CISCO IN COURT FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9TH
8 AM RALLY, 9 AM COURT HEARING
850 BRYANT ST., SAN FRANCISCO

For more information go to http://www.freethesf8.org
or call 415-226-1120

Thank you,
The Committee for the Defense of the San Francisco 8

San Francisco 8: Torres, last defendent, has hearing delayed

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Francisco Torres

A hearing to determine the status of one last defendant in a 38-year-old case of a slain San Francisco police officer was delayed Monday. The hearing will resume Oct. 9.

Francisco Torres is the last of the defendants who were to stand trial for the 1971 shotgun death of Sgt. John Young at the Ingleside Station.

San Francisco police arrested eight men in 2007 in connection with the attack, accusing them of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. After some of the conspiracy charges were dismissed because of the statute of limitations, one defendant was dropped from the case.

Earlier this summer, Anthony Bottom and Herman Bell, two defendants in the Ingleside case who are serving life sentences in New York for the murders of two New York City police officers in 1971, entered pleas to lesser charges. Bell pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, and Bottom pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit voluntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors then dismissed charges against all of the defendants except Torres. Police investigators say Torres’ fingerprint was found on a lighter left at the scene of the attack at Ingleside.

Mumia on the SF8: “No More SF8”

 

Political Prisoner and Journalist Mumia Abu Jamal

Political Prisoner and Journalist Mumia Abu Jamal

 

 

 

\”No More SF8\”