Support Parole for Herman Bell: Letters Needed

herman-bellHerman Bell has been to the New York state parole board six times and has been denied each time. His next parole board appearance will be in early February 2016. Each time, the board – always made of up former law enforcement personnel and former prosecutors — reviews his very impressive record, the Bachelor’s and Master’s college degrees he has attained since being locked up, his job offers, his numerous letters of support from family, friends, and community members from many walks of life. They have before them evidence of all the ways Herman has helped so many people throughout the course of his confinement and is still leading a positive and progressive life despite being locked up now over four decades. And then they deny him parole based on their opinion that to release him would “deprecate” the serious nature of his charge of conviction. Is this rationale not, in effect, an illegal re-sentencing to life-without-the-possibility-of parole? When one goes to trial, there is a prosecutor, one’s defense attorney, a judge, and a jury. When one goes to the parole board, there is only the prosecution.

Here’s how you can help:

write-inHerman has taken responsibility for his part in the Black Liberation Movement’s resistance to racist authority. He has paid a great price – 42 years of imprisonment, thus far. He is going to the New York state parole board for the seventh time in February 2016 and deserves to be paroled, to come home to his family and community.

1 – Please write your letter to the parole board on professional letterhead. Your letter should be addressed to: “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Parole Commissioner”. The subject line should be “Herman Bell, 79C-0262.”

2 – Please indicate how you know Herman, or if you don’t know him personally, how you know of him.

3 – Please sign your letter and mail to Herman’s attorney:
Robert J. Boyle, 277 Broadway, Suite 1501, New York, NY 10007.
Herman very much appreciates your efforts and your support.

Message from Herman Bell Fall 2015

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Dr. Mutulu Shakur’s birthday and parole hearing this week

shakurToday is Dr. Mutulu Shakur’s birthday. This year marks his 28th year in prison for crimes which there is no physical evidence showing his involvement. Dr. Shakur will also attend his next parole hearing this coming Tuesday, August 12th. Family and Friends of Dr. Mutulu Shakur have incurred legal expenses in preparing for this hearing so we are calling on supporters nationally and internationally to make contributions to help cover these expenses. Any excess funds will be used to support Dr. Shakur’s transition out of prison. This is a crucial time to show support!

Below are the 3 different ways you can contribute:

fund-drive* Credit card donations can be made by Paypal through the ‘Donate’ button at mutulushakur.com; You can become a monthly donor by selecting the option to make it recurring
* By check or money order payable to Family & Friends of Dr. Mutulu Shakur and mailed to: S. Wilson 1000 Park Place #3, Brooklyn, NY 11213.
* If you would like your contribution to be tax deductible, checks or money orders can be made out to: IFCO/Family and Friends of Dr. Mutulu Shakur, follow the directions at mutulushakur.com/site/support/ option #2.

Analysis on Prison-Parole Reform Strategy by Jalil Muntaqim

jalilThis statement below is written by Jalil, if you want to write him or
read more of his writings please visit freejalil.com, or see more information on supporting parole reform in NY state.

Write to Jalil:
Anthony Jalil Bottom #77-A-4283
Attica Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 149
Attica, NY 14011-0149

Dear Friends and Supporters:

As many of you may have heard on June 17, 2014, I was again denied
release on parole for the 8th time. Obviously, efforts to change the
parole system is not gaining significant or measurable traction. This is
especially daunting when considering of the two dozen prisoners
appearing before the parole board on June 17, 2014, none were granted
parole. While there has been strides made to raise public consciousness
and interest in the need for prison and parole reform, it has not
translated into unified and uniform actions resulting in a substantial
change. It appears the myriad voices on the subject and the diverse “pet
projects” has weakened the potential for a statewide determination.

There is a need for a unified strategy that challenges the specific
problem of NYS recalcitrant parole policy. As an analogy of the diverse
“pet projects” activity, it is like treating someone complaining of a
migraine headache with heroin. The headache is anesthetized, however,
the treatment creates an addiction for perpetual “reformism.” The
diverse “pet projects” are treating the symptoms of the problem, and not
the problem itself. The misdiagnosed problem is the [person] is
suffering form a brain tumor that requires precise surgical excise of
the tumor to cure the reoccurring migraine headaches.

Therefore, it is important to review the problem of parole, of which in
my opinion is based on two dynamics: 1) The disparate and vague language
in Executive Law S259i(2)(c)(a); and 2) The composition of the parole,
top heavy with former law enforcement personnel.

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Support Parole for Seth Hayes

SethThough Seth is presently awaiting an Appeals Unit release decision appeal, he is scheduled for his 10th parole hearing this June and can use letters of support.  Seth is currently in his 41st year of incarceration, and is in his mid 60’s.  Below is a long list of accomplishments.  One can choose from what Seth is currently working on or has already done, as well as a sample letter. The more personalized your letter is the better it is for the board. Thank you for your time and please add to your letter:

-State your relationship to Seth, family or supporter.

-State who you are (i.e. health care worker, citizen, mother, judge, carpenter, etc.)

-Please refrain from any profanity and be professional

write-inSend letters to Seth’s lawyer:
Cheryl Kates
P.O. Box 734
Victor, NY 14564

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Donate & Send Letter to Support Parole for Hugo “Yogi” Pinell

Hugo’s Parole Hearing Postponed to March 11th, 2014

yogiAttorney Keith Wattley appeared before the Parole Board in October 2013 and provided new information regarding Hugo Pinell, affectionately known as Yogi Bear by his friends. After hearing what attorney Keith Wattley had to say about Hugo, the Parole Board was then confused about Hugo’s case and postponed their decision on Hugo’s parole to March 11th.

This is very good news! We can widely promote Hugo Pinell’s case, and that it is way past time he goes home. We can also raise much needed funds for attorney Keith Wattley of Uncommon Law.

Yogi has been incarcerated since 1964 and has been in solitary confinement continuously since 1969.

On August 21, 1971, in what has been deemed a setup, Soledad Brother George Jackson was murdered on the yard of San Quentin by prison guards. During this orchestrated escape attempt, however, three guards were also killed, along with two inmate “trustees.” This set the prison officials on fire and they have been exacting revenge ever since on Hugo Pinell, the only defendant in the “San Quentin Six” case still in prison; convicted of assault on a prison guard. The only defendant convicted of murder in the case, Johnny Spain, was released in 1988.

Clearly Yogi is a political prisoner, although the U.S. rarely if ever admits to holding any political prisoners. Our revolutionary hero is still strong of mind and body, has maintained his health with a strictly vegetarian diet and a grueling exercise program.

fund-driveIt would be a good thing for those with resources to contact the office of Attorney Keith Wattley of The UnCommon Law at (510) 271-0310 or contact his secretary Ritika via email RAggarwal @ uncommonlaw.org to help Yogi with financial assistance in covering his legal fees. The law office is a 501(3)c and you can get tax deductions. Attorney Wattley works for a nonprofit organization, and he needs funds to travel to Hugo up in Crescent City, CA, amongst other things.

 

write-inHugo’s, attorney, Keith Wattley, noted: “We should shift our hearing preparation a little bit by providing some specific types of support for his release. That means that we want letters from individuals or groups offering residence, employment and counseling (from psychologists, psychiatrists, religious and spiritual leaders, etc.) to help his transition out of prison after all these years. None of these letters need to discuss the politics or injustice of his situation. Just the facts, please. All letters should be addressed to the Board of Parole Hearings, P.O. Box 4036, Sacramento, CA 95814, BUT THEY SHOULD ACTUALLY BE MAILED, EMAILED OR FAXED DIRECTLY TO ME AT UNCOMMON LAW, 220 4TH STREET, SUITE 103, OAKLAND, CA 94607, FAX: (510) 271-0101. I’ll need to review these letters before we submit them to the Board, and I may send some of them back for editing. Do not send any petitions or form letters. We cannot use them.”

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Letter-drive supporting Parole for Sekou Kambui

kambuiSekou Cinque T. M. Kambui (S/N William J. Turk) has requested a letter-writing campaign asserting his innocence in preparation for his upcoming parole hearing, which could be held as early as February of 2014. Sekou maintains that he has committed no crime, and yet has been under the heel of the State since 1975, when he was accused of murdering a wealthy white oil-man and a KKK member in Alabama. He was pulled over in January of 1975 and accused of and arrested for the December ’74 murder after a 9mm pistol was found in his car. Multiple witnesses in his first trial later reported that they had been coerced into testifying against Sekou, after which every defense witness was driven out of the state by police intimidation. No proven murder weapon has been found, and neither Sekou nor the pistol found in his car has never been linked to the crime scene.

As a member of the Black Panther Party and organizer with a variety of organizations, including SNCC and the Republic of New Afrika, Sekou was caught up in the COINTELPRO dragnet in the State’s effort suppress dissent and make activism criminal. He must be freed!

write-inThere is also an online petition for Sekou’s release, found here!

Send Letters To:
Offices of Chestnut, Sanders, Sanders, Pettaway & Campbell, L.L.C.
Attn. Attorney Faya Ora Rose Toure
1 Union Street
Post Office Box 1290
Selma, Alabama 36702-1290

Letter Template [If you need it]

Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
301 South Ripley Street
Post Office Box 302405
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-2405

Chairman William W. Wynne Jr.
Associate Members Robert P. Longshore and Cliff Walker

Chairman, Members of the Board,

I am writing to request the timely parole of William J. Turk, #113058A, also known as Sekou Kambui. William/Sekou asserts his innocence of the crimes he has served almost forty years of his sentence for. Despite the fact that he has been up for parole five times in the last decade, and despite the fact that there is no solid evidence linking William/Sekou to the scene of the murders he has been charged with, he is still inexplicably in prison. Major witnesses for both his first trial and appeal reported being coerced to testify against William/Sekou, and the misconduct of the Alabama court system, the Birmingham Police Department, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department at the time of Sekou’s arrest and trial is obvious. [More detailed information on Sekou’s case can be found Denver ABC and ABCF sites, and in the petition for his release, if you wish to include it]

[Include any positive/pertinent personal interactions with Sekou, correspondence, etc. that you may have had]

William Turk/Sekou Kambui is innocent, and has suffered decades in prison due to a unfair arrest, investigation, and trial. William/Sekou is being punished for his activism during the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s, not any real crime. I ask you, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, to recognize his innocence and grant him parole at his upcoming hearing.

Sincerely,

[Name and signature]