A brief hearing in the San Francisco 8 case Wednesday morning, revealed that there is still no resolution to defense demands for complete discovery - not that anything new has been produced by the prosecution after over 37 years. Now that we are approaching the 2-year anniversary of the "new" charges (charges that were dismissed in the 1970s by San Francisco prosecutors), the prosecutors are still reluctant to turn over "non-discoverable" evidence, information about FBI wiretaps, contact information for potential key witnesses, forensic tests about weapons (some weapons were destroyed or sold by New Orleans police), and the names of agents and examiners whose fingerprint analysis exonerates all the men charged in the SF 8 case.
To listen to the prosecution explain it, evidence is not being withheld with intent. Yet some of these very requests for information (discovery) were raised in court in 2007 and have still not been met. Perhaps appropriately, these remaining issues of disclosure and turning over of evidence will be heard (and resolved?) on January 23rd, 2009 at 1:30 - the exact 2-year anniversary marking the arrests in this case.
Despite understandable objections over delays by both Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim, the main "in-custody" defendants, the preliminary hearing in the San Francisco 8 case has now been set - June 8th to September 3rd, 2009. Both Herman and Jalil are essentially locked down in the SF County Jail, and continue to have their rights to parole hearings in New York state denied.