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geronimo ji Jaga preferred capitalization also known as Geronimo Pratt a former Black Panther leader was wrongfully convicted 24 years ago for the murder of a woman in Santa Monica California geronimo has always maintained that he was 400 miles away in Oakland California at the time of the killing at a Black Panther meeting and that he was a victim of the FBIs Counter Intelligence Program COINTELPRO Represented by Stuart Hanlon Johnnie Cochran Robert Garcia Julie Drous Valerie West David Bernstein and other members of his defense team geronimo had his conviction and life sentence vacated on May 29 1997 He was released from prison on June 10 1997 Judge Everett W Dickey Superior Court Judge held that the prosecution denied Mr Pratt a fair trial in violation of his constitutional rights The prosecution suppressed material evidence relating to the question of guilt and to the credibility of a material witness in violation of the 1966 United States Supreme Court ruling in Brady v Maryland The evidence that the prosecution withheld about prosecution witness Julius Butler could have put the whole case in a different light and the failure to disclose it undermines confidence in the jury verdict according to Judge Dickey Butler engaged in informing activities on behalf of the Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office the Los Angeles Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation The prosecution was required to provide this information to the defense in order to allow the jury to assess his motives and credibility as a witness The information would have permitted potentially devastating cross-examination or other impeachment of Butler Throughout the first eight months of 1970 Geronimo Pratt spent much of his time in court defending himself against the charges arising from his Panther activities On August 17 he was ordered by Huey Newton to go underground to build a revolutionary infrastructure in the Deep South For the rest of the
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