Thursday, June 19, 2008

SF 8 Judge halts return of Jalil & Herman for parole hearings

For now, SF 8 Judge Philip Moscone halted the transfer of Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim to New York for their parole hearings. By throwing procedural obstacles at the court, prosecutors were able to delay the transfer arguing that there were no guarantees under the existent agreement between the Governors of New York and California to effect a transfer back of both men for the scheduled preliminary hearing in September.

This vindictive and mean-spirited smoke screen was strongly challenged by defense attorneys who had previously worked out an agreement with the prosecutors and which was signed the judge. Strong arguments were made to guarantee Herman and Jalil's right to "pursue their liberty interests" and have parole hearings. Both have served over 30 years in prison as model prisoners. Both were targeted originally by COINTELPRO as members of the Black Panther Party.

Judge Moscone ruled to stay his original order without prejudice and will consider signing another order if an amended arrangement can be agreed to by defense and prosecution attorneys which assures their timely return. Both Herman and Jalil have signed waivers agreeing to not contest their expeditious return to California.

New York Attorney Bob Boyle argued in a declaration to the SF Court that if the men remain in California, "they would be denied their parole hearing for years." In a subsequent interview, he also said "The state waited 35 years to bring these spurious criminal charges. Now these charges are being used to deny these men parole hearings to which they are entitled. Whatever concerns the government has can be overcome by a simple modification of the extradition order. All Herman and Jalil are asking for is an opportunity to attend their hearings."

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