Former Black Panther Sundiata Acoli released from prison after 49 years
The oldest imprisoned Panther was eligible for parole 29 years ago but was repeatedly denied in spite of ‘exemplary’ prison record
Tue 10 May 2022 17.He worked in Vladimir Putin’s first administration but has since become a vocal critic of the Russian president and an opposition leader.Hong Kong and mainland Chinese officials to be put on the US sanctions list for their role in undermining the city’s once-guaranteed rights and freedoms.How the Met Police is supporting and listening to its officers He was calling for an increase in rate rises to stem inflation last June.
53 BST Last modified on Tue 10 May 2022 19.19 BST Sundiata Acoli, 85, the oldest former member of the Black Panthers still to be incarcerated for acts of violence during the 1970s Black liberation struggle, is finally to be released from prison after the New Jersey supreme court ruled that he was no longer a risk to public safety..Acoli has been held captive for more than 49 years for the May 1973 shooting of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster.It is also the first time that a former security official has been appointed to the top job in one of Asia’s most significant business hubs.He was found guilty the following year and sentenced to life plus 24 to 35 years.The supreme court noted in its ruling that under the terms of his sentence, Acoli first became eligible for parole 29 years ago.” Today the British Chambers of Commerce said an emergency budget should be used to cut VAT on energy bills for firms, and reinstate free Covid tests to ease labour shortages.
On each occasion that he came before the panel his release was denied.The Hong Kong administration’s debilitating pandemic controls have invited complaints from both residents and foreign businesses in recent months.Yet for more than a quarter of a century his prison record has been “exemplary”, the judges said.He had completed 120 courses while in prison, participated in counseling, had a constructive rapport with prison staff and fellow inmates, and had positive evaluations from prison officials.Twelve years ago, a state-assigned psychologist assessed Acoli’s progress in prison and concluded that he was deeply remorseful for Foerster’s death and that it was “time to seriously consider him for parole”.02% of the city’s 7.Despite that, his parole was denied; in his latest parole hearing he was still being classified a potential danger to society.It was $1.
The parole board had “lost sight that its mission largely was to determine the man Acoli had become”, the supreme court judges concluded.It added that his age, at 85, was another important factor that the board had failed to consider given that elderly people released from prison have extremely low rates of reoffending.After a brief secret ballot on Sunday, 99% or 1,416 members voted for Lee while eight voted against, according to officials.Acoli, whose given name was Clark Edward Squire, was involved in an encounter with Foerster and another state trooper, James Harper, on 2 May 1973 after the car he was in was stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike for a broken taillight.He was traveling with two other members of the Black Liberation Army, Assata Shakur (previously JoAnne Chesimard) and Zayd Malik Shakur (James Costan).In the ensuing melee, shots were fired, killing Foerster and Shakur.Under the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, Beijing is remoulding Hong Kong in its own authoritarian image after huge and sometimes violent democracy protests three years ago.“The Treasury and HMRC have proven their ability during the pandemic to implement similar changes quickly and efficiently.
Harper was wounded and Acoli and Assata Shakur, also wounded, were arrested after a police chase.In his defense, Acoli said that he was shot in the crossfire and had blacked out.When he came to, he found Foerster’s body on the ground nearby.Despite the risks, the League of Social Democrats – one of the only remaining pro-democracy groups – held a three-person protest before the polls opened Sunday, chanting: “Power to the people, universal suffrage now.Acoli was one of at least 12 former members of the Black Panthers and their armed wing, the Black Liberation Army, who are still in prison.Many are now approaching, or exceeding, half a century behind bars.” Register for free to continue reading Sign up for exclusive newsletters, comment on stories, enter competitions and attend events.
Last year Acoli wrote to the Guardian, describing himself as an old man “who’s been imprisoned since age 36 for almost 50 years, who now poses a threat not even to a flea, let alone public safety.” Hong Kong’s chief executives have found themselves caught between the democratic aspirations of the city’s residents and the authoritarian demands of Beijing’s leaders for years, and Lam is on track to leave office with record-low approval ratings.My sentence is obviously too long.I am rapidly disintegrating before my family and friends’ eyes.” Soffiyah Elijah, a civil rights attorney and a lead advocate for Acoli, said that it was time now for him “to live the rest of his life in the loving care of his family and community”.Read more Under the slogan “Starting a new chapter for Hong Kong together”, Lee has vowed to bring in “results-oriented” governance, forge unity and reboot the city’s economy.She added that she hoped his release would bring attention “to the thousands of elders like him trapped in the New Jersey prison system”.
Read more Though Acoli’s release brings to a conclusion one of the unfinished stories of the Black Panther era, in another regard the narrative remains unresolved.After her arrest alongside Acoli in 1973, Assata Shakur escaped and fled to Cuba, where she has been granted asylum by the Cuban government.‘Empty gesture’ According to a survey in March by the Public Opinion Research Institute, about 24% of the public has confidence in Lee, compared with 12% for Lam.She remains on as a “domestic terrorist”, with a $2m reward on offer for information that leads to her capture.Topics.Read more:
In the EU, a life sentence is 18 years. LIFE WASTED,
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