The trial of seven Black Panther leaders took place in 1971 at Chicago’s infamous Daley Center. At one point, the defendants demanded the assembly court, and were convinced that their fate would be judged by the mayor. Hearings heard testimony from police that were deposed for the trial. Here’s what you need to know about the case that’s being reconsidered.
Who are the Chicago 7?
Three of the defendants were running for the Black Panther Party and its Mayor Gregorie Jordan. Abdul Jinjir was involved in anti-sweatshop work and Benjamin Hubbard was running for office in Chicago at the time of the trial. The remaining five defendants were members of Chicago’s 7th Ward block watch and involved in the Black Panther Party and helped to organize the city’s protest events.
So why are they being reconsidered?
Last year, attorney Gerald Posner argued in a case involving President Trump that evidence should have been excluded during the 1971 trial. Posner believed that the testimony and evidence was biased against the defendants by law enforcement. The Fourth Circuit ruled that the case would now move forward. Here’s why.
Why are they being reconsidered?
It’s pretty simple, really. If they want, attorneys can argue that the allegations of the prosecutor against the defendants are outdated — three of the defendants (Benjamin Hubbard, Abdul Jinjir and Michael Clark) have since passed away and the other defendants — Henry Glover, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, James Byrd Jr. and Herman Wallace — have died as well. Posner believes these are just two clear signs that the “dossier” of the now-discredited theory of entrapment is outdated and erroneous.
How are the Chicago 7 doing?
Both Posner and J. Wyndal Gordon, an attorney for the seven defendants, think that the evidence reviewed and or revisited in this new case may show that the case against the defendants is pretty tenuous at best. Posner called the evidence “noise,” and Gordon insisted, “The Chicago 7 have now been 50 years into this case and the evidence is, in fact, strong.” Their hope is that the new evidence will finally get the case thrown out.
How is the case being reconsidered?
Posner thinks that a technicality — he says that the trial was improperly transferred from Cook County to State’s Court after two of the defendants were acquitted — is the reason that the Chicago 7 are still fighting.
Last year, the Chicago Seven finally got their day in court!
The names of the seven Black Panther Party leaders are Gil Scott-Heron, Bobby Seale, Stewart Rainey, William Bell, Andy Young, Abner Louima and Michael Clark.