---------- THE sAN fRANCISCO 8
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 19:04:47 -0700 (PDT)
Open Letter to Attorney General Jerry Brown:
Drop the Charges Against Francisco Torres!
End the Prosecution of the SF 8!
The failed, costly and unethical prosecution of the San Francisco 8 must end.
For the last six years, prosecution of this case has ripped respected elders from their families and from their service to their communities.
Previous attempts to prosecute this case in the 1970s were dismissed when it was revealed that so-called “confessions” were the product of torture by the New Orleans police department.
Although this is a California state and not a county prosecution, the cost of the case, which is in the millions, is being borne by the City of San Francisco at the precise moment when vital services are being cut back.
After all these years, the results of this prosecution show the weakness of the state’s case
and the unjust nature of the charges:
• On July 6, your office was forced to drop all charges against four of the San
Francisco 8 (Ray Boudreaux, Richard Brown Hank Jones and Harold Taylor)
acknowledging that you had “insufficient evidence” to prosecute them.
• Your office had already been forced to drop charges against a fifth member of the SF8, Richard O’Neal, a year earlier.
• Your office offered and accepted pleas from Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim for lesser charges in exchange for probation and time served.
Francisco Torres is now the only remaining SF 8 defendant. Your office also offered him
probation and time served in exchange for a plea to a lesser charge. He refused your offer, and maintains his innocence.
Mr. Torres is a Vietnam veteran and a former member of the Black Panther Party. Born
in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City, Mr. Torres is a respected elder, community
activist, and mentor for youth. He is a husband, a father, and a grandfather.
Enough is enough! The continued prosecution of this discredited case based on torture is
We urge you, Attorney General Jerry Brown, to drop all charges against Francisco Torres
and end the prosecution of the SF 8.
We, the undersigned,
Martha Laureano, National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights
END THE PROSECUTION OF THE SF