Friday, November 14, 2008

Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim Supported on Nov 19

As reported in the post below, SF 8 defendants Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim (aka Anthony Bottom) are being held in intolerable conditions in the San Francisco County jail, a facility designed to hold arrestees for only a day or two.

A phone and fax blitz to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was held on November 19 demanding that California return Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom) to New York state for their parole hearings. This effort was successful in generating a great many calls and faxes. Updates on this situation will be posted here as they become available.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Update from SF 8 Hearing of Nov. 6

At the November 6 court hearing in the SF 8 case, there were two items of business:
  • setting a date for the preliminary hearing and
  • the continued shackling of Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim.
Resolution of both items was put off.

Setting a date for the Preliminary Hearing

January will mark two years since the arrest of the San Francisco 8 and the hearing to determine whether or not there is a basis for a trial is yet to take place. Prosecution maneuvering regarding the tens of thousands of pages of discovery as well as scheduling conflicts of over a dozen attorneys continue to present a logistical quagmire.

As lawyers opened by presenting their respective schedules, filled with major trials in the next several months, Judge Moscone interrupted to state that he would not listen to scheduling problems and that he proposed starting the preliminary hearing on January 5 regardless of conflicts. He said he wanted to conclude this case "while I'm still here." [Update: the preliminary hearing has been scheduled to run from June 8 to September 3.]

However, the prosecution acknowledged that just this week they had given the defense some three thousand pages of new discovery material and added that they have another two thousand or more pages to prepare before disclosing. The judge allowed as to how he had to give the defense time to read the alleged "evidence" against their clients.

Under pressure from the judge, the Attorney General's office agreed to deliver the remaining discovery materials to the defense by next week. In turn, the defense attorneys agreed to look it over quickly to determine how much time might be needed to fully study it.