Four of the former Black Panther Party members shown here have been charged in a 35-year-old murder case. (L-R) Hank Jones, John Bowman (deceased), Ray Boudreaux, Harold Taylor, and Richard Brown. (Photo: Scott Braley).
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
Sent: Jan 4, 2008 6:59 PM
Subject: Conspiracy Charge Dropped Against 5 of the SF 8
Prosecutors in the San Francisco 8 case announced that they are filing an amended complaint in effect dropping the conspiracy count against 5 of the brothers because the statute of limitations (of 3 years on conspiracy) has expired. This is a result of defense motions filed recently that challenged the complaint on the basis of expired statute of limitations.
Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown, Hank Jones and Harold Taylor now only face one count, the alleged murder of a San Francisco Police Officer in 1971. The case against Richard O'Neal must now be dismissed since he was originally charged only in the second count.
The prosecutors will argue that the statute of limitations did not expire against Herman Bell, Jalil Muntaqim and Francisco Torres as they were not residents in California during the last 35 years. "This is a ridiculous argument," according to defense attorney Stuart Hanlon, "as these men were forcefully removed from the state against their will by being imprisoned.
Following his acquittal on charges in New York State, Cisco Torres was living in New York City. All 3 were consistently available to California State prosecutors." This legal point will be argued in the upcoming San Francisco hearing on January 10th, and their lawyers will ask that the conspiracy count be dropped against the other 3 men.
This is a major victory in this case which rests on statements
coerced under torture. "This is the first step in the government's case falling apart," Hanlon said.