Behind Bars

Home Again!
Cisco [Francisco Torres] Returns to Queens

Victory for the San Francisco 8

By Lynne Stewart

The San Francisco 8, Richard Brown, Richard O’Neal, Ray Boudreaux, Hank Jones, Francisco Torres, Harold Taylor, Herman Bell, and Jalil Muntaqim, were arrested in January 2007 for their alleged involvement in the 1971 murder of Sergeant John V. Young at Ingleside Police station in San Francisco—a thirty-six-year-old unsolved crime.

The Editors

Let us claim his and the final chapter of the San Francisco 8 as a victory for all of us! It shines in our deepening gloom as the proof of the success of collective defense and solidarity and loyalty among comrades. Many will talk on the egregious details of this case—the torture in New Orleans, the dismissal in LA and the unexpected resurrection of the prosecution in San Francisco. It is a beacon to us that they will never quit where one of their army (cops) was lost. We must be as single-minded about our own soldiers who are rotting for decades in prison.

As an attorney and a People’s Lawyer and a defender of those targeted by the government, the case of Cisco and the 7 stands for the “old style” of defense—not individualized as is the rule in criminal proceedings today—we used to laugh and say in the “day” they had to beat people to make them talk—now they beat them to make them shut-up—so prevalent has the rush to the Prosecutor’s Offices become. I said this was old style because of the marvelous solidarity and love and loyalty among the defendants and the dedication of the lawyers to work for what the clients thought was best for all. Notwithstanding the strengths and weaknesses of the cases against them, the 7 worked together and brought their lawyers with them. It just gladdens my heart and mind.

Buried out here in the arid desert of North Texas, I find by talking to my sisters that the quality of lawyering for persons accused of crime is so appalling—it is torture to me to listen to their recounting of neglect, intentional and otherwise and the ignorance of law and practice—malfeasance and misfeasance and absolutely no accountability for attorneys. The question of no accountability for people without power to demand it harkens back to my earliest encounter with oppression in the pubic schools of New York City in the lack of accountability. Power for the People was the demand then and it always must be.

But tonight we celebrate with great joy one of the sunniest and most decent of warriors Cisco Torres and his escape from the evil intent of prosecutors and police. We welcome his prize-winning smile and dedication to the cause. And he shouldn’t think he can now “retire”! He will be called upon by others for political support and solidarity—me among many others. We love you Cisco—welcome home—now get to work!!

Lynne Stewart #53504 - 054
Unit 2N
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York 11216
For further information: 718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759