Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Howard Zinn's letter supporting parole for the MOVE 9

We recently received a copy of the following letter that acclaimed historian Howard Zinn wrote to the PA Parole Board in support of the MOVE 9's parole after almost 30 years in prison.
EMBEDDED VIDEO: MOVE documentary narrated by Howard Zinn

February 22, 2008

Catherine C. McVey
Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole
1101 South Front Street, Suite #5100
Harrisburg, PA 17104-2517

Regarding the case of eight prisoners who are up for parole in 2008: Debbie Sims Africa, Janet Holloway Africa, Janine Phillips Africa, Michael Davis Africa, Charles Sims Africa, William Phillips Africa, Delbert Orr Africa, Edward Goodman Africa.

Dear Ms. McVey:

I have studied the case of the eight prisoners of the MOVE organization and believe very strongly that they deserve to be released from prison. This is a situation which cries out for compassion. A man was killed in 1978 and, as I understand it, the sentencing judge said he had no idea who fired the fatal bullet. In a bombing attack against their organization by the Philadelphia police eleven of their friends and relatives, six adults and five children, died from the resulting fire. A jury found in 1996 that excessive force was used by the city of Philadelphia in that incident. These eight people have been in prison for thirty years, paying an exorbitant price for a series of events that should never have taken place. As I understand, they have been model prisoners. They are not violent people. There is every reason to believe they will be productive members of the community if released. I ask you to approve their petition for parole.

Howard Zinn
Professor Emeritus, Boston University

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