On what was supposed to be the start of the preliminary hearing and California’s continued attack on the San Francisco 8 (SF8), the false case of the state prosecution and attorney general Jerry Brown was further exposed. A week after Herman Bell was given 5 years probation for voluntary manslaughter, more charges were not only reduced, but ultimately dropped against four more of the defendants. Ray Boudreaux, Harold Taylor, Hank Jones and Richard Brown were officially released from the case following an arrangement where Jalil Muntaqim reluctantly pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit manslaughter. The sentencing times of Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim mirror a similar embarrassment of the prosecution in the earlier dismissal of charges against Richard O’Neal, who was also wrongfully charged with conspiracy. Charges against Francisco Torres remain, showing the prosecutions everlasting attack on African and Latino community elders.
The case against the SF8 is one of state sponsored desperation and extreme mis-management of California funding. Millions of dollars has been spent since January of 2007 to arrest, extradite and create hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence which have not led to a single murder conviction amongst the SF8. These recent actions add on to a 37 year legacy of state torture and war against community leaders. This case has been built upon a series of human rights violations starting with the 1973 torture of Rueben Scott, Harold Taylor and the late John Bowman. The unlawful acts of California’s justice system is responsible for attempting to deny the SF8 their freedom The brothers of the SF8 are family men, whose lives have been interrupted through this country’s continuing attack against people who stand for human rights.
All of the eight have been harassed and held as political prisoners during the case. Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim will return to New York having been incarcerated continuously for well over 3 decades each. Although they will be leaving behind the last 2 and half years of SF County Jail time, they return to New York to face parole boards with felonies due to the negligence and desperation of a defeated California prosecution team. Within 30 days of return to New York, Herman and Jalil will face parole boards for a potential freedom that they deserve. Humanity must rise up and support these brothers in their continued struggle for justice. While preparation for NY parole hearings begin, the people must unite and continue to demand that all charges be dropped against all of the SF8 by supporting Francisco Torres at his August 10th court hearing. Charges against Francisco Torres must be dropped to complete the defeat of California’s attorney general and all other local, state and national forces that abuse their power.