Sundiata Acoli’s Lawyers Seek Parole
Lawyers for Sundiata Acoli, whose birth name is Clark Edward Squire, are fighting for his release. The former Black Panther Party member released from prison. He has served 50 years in prison to date.
Acoli lost a ton of weight after his bout with COVID-19 and his hospitalization. In addition, he suffers from hearing loss and early dementia. The defense argues that prison is no place for an elderly man. Previously, Acoli was denied parole eight times.
“You can have someone elderly who may still be dangerous in some rare cases, but that is not this man. I mean, he has not had a single problem of any kind in prison for 25 years,” said Acoli’s attorney, Bruce Afran, according to the news outlet. His parole gets denied only because he allegedly killed a cop. I can think of no other reason for this treatment.”
New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Decision
Tony Ciavolella, a board spokesman stated that “Denials of his parole were decided upon impartially, fairly, and . . . in accordance with statutory and administrative regulations,” according to the outlet.
In 2014, a state appellate panel ruled for his release. Even still, the state Attorney General’s office contested. The case went back to the board and denied several more times. Acoli is currently appealing that decision.
“Sundiata’s case is a glaring example of the need for parole reform in New Jersey and throughout the United States,” said Joseph J. Russo, Deputy Public Defender in the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender’s Appellate Section.
According to the Sundiata Acoli Speaks website, in September 1979 the International Jurist labeled the former Panther as a political prisoner.
Fellow Alleged Assailant Assata Shakur Speaks
Assata Shakur shows appreciation for Acoli’s courage and offers words of love and wisdom from Blacks in the diaspora. His fight for freedom did not go unnoticed.
“I want so much for Sundiata to know how much he is loved and respected. I want him to know how much he is appreciated by revolutionaries all over the world. Want Sundiata to know how much he is cherished by African people, not only in the Americas, but all over the Diaspora. I want him to know how much we admire his strength, his courage, his kindness, and compassion. Sundiata loves freedom and we must struggle for the life and freedom of Sundiata,” she said.
All in all, Acoli wants to be able to enjoy the rest of his natural born life. Hopefully Sundiata Acoli gets a parole hearing soon and the results are in his favor.