"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." - Charles Mackay
Friday, March 10, 2006
Herman Bell’s Parole Request DENIED! WHY?
Herman Bell’s Parole Request

On Feb. 15th, U.S. political prisoner and former Black Panther Herman Bell was denied parole for the second time. Herman, Jalil Muntaqim/ Anthony Bottom and Nuh Washington—known as the New York Three—were sentenced in May 1975 to 25 years to life for the killing of two New York City police.

This was their second trial, the first ending in a hung jury with the majority of jurors voting to acquit. The parole board panel made note of Herman's impressive prison record and parole packet, which included over 120 letters of support as well as letters from one of the slain officer's family members urging Herman's release.

However, the NY State parole commission denied his release due to "the nature of his offense."

As the reason for his conviction will never change, Herman, like many other political prisoners, is essentially being re-sentenced at every so-called parole hearing. Herman Bell maintains his innocence and points to a tainted legal process that reveals the over-zealous and illegal actions of the Cointelpro program which targeted the Black Movement 30 years ago and continues today.

It is not coincidence that testimony obtained through torture was central to his conviction and has recently re-emerged as the basis for jailing 5 other Black activists in San Francisco for resisting a grand jury witch hunt.

Cointelpro and torture continue to be at the center of the state's arsenal against activists—the torture methods used against Herman Bell and other members of the Black Panther Party in 1973 are similar to those used today in Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib.

“The authorities would love to see you abandon us, because it would discredit our movement and undermine the legitimacy and moral character of our struggle. They would love to dismiss us as misguided lunatic fringe idealists who deserve everything that happens to them.

As I've already said: Yes, I know the authorities were looking for me (and I say this not out of arrogant pretensions or braggadocio) but I did not run. Someone said: ‘It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.’ I felt that way then, I feel this way now. And as you all know we've consistently maintained that we had no involvement in the act we've been convicted of.”

—Herman Bell
posted by R J Noriega at 8:37 AM | Permalink |


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