Ongoing bail hearings for San Francisco 8
Published Aug 15, 2007 11:45 PM
Bail hearings concluded Aug. 8 for the first three members of the San Francisco 8, eight former Black Panthers who have been dragged into court and charged with the murder 35 years ago of a San Francisco policeman.

Picket line on Aug. 6 denounces
racist persecution of San Francisco 8.
Judge Philip Moscone announced at the beginning of the hearings on Aug. 6 that he would not rule on bail until all of the hearings were concluded. The judge also refused to allow all eight defendants into the courtroom, despite strong arguments from their attorneys that the men be present for all legal proceedings.

On Aug. 6 before the first bail hearing, a large picket line formed outside the courthouse comprised of family members, political prisoners’ rights activists and community supporters organized by the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights.

Herman Bell, Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown, Henry (Hank) Jones, Jalil Muntaqim, Richard O’Neal, Harold Taylor and Francisco Torres are the community activists who are charged with being part of a conspiracy allegedly between 1968 and 1973 that involved the killing of a police officer in 1971. Both Bell and Muntaqim have been imprisoned as political prisoners in New York State for more than 30 years.

The present case is based on “evidence” gained through the beating and torture of three ex-Black Panther Party members that took place in a New Orleans jail in 1973. However, all charges, including ones for the 1971 police killing, were dismissed after judges learned about the physical coercion in New Orleans. Two of the SF 8, Taylor and Boudreaux, were part of the original case.

All of the men were involved in community activism and progressive political work prior to their arrests on the conspiracy charges. Richard Mazer, Richard Brown’s attorney, argued today that Brown should be immediately released because of his strong community ties in this city and the serious medical issue of his deteriorating vision. Brown has just been diagnosed with a kind of glaucoma which could lead to blindness if not treated aggressively. Judge Moscone also heard bail arguments for Boudreaux and O’Neal.

Bail hearings for other members of the SF 8 will continue next week beginning on Aug. 20 at 9 a.m. in Department 23 at 850 Bryant Street. For more information and to get involved in the fight to free the San Francisco 8, check out

—Report & photo by Judy Greenspan

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