2019 Campaign for Commutation !
Bring Jalil Home Now! Contact Gov. Cuomo ask him to let Jalil come home
Write to Jalil
Anthony J. Bottom #77A4283
Sullivan Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 116
Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116
2019 Clemency/ Parole Campaign
During the Months of July and August
Remember to tweet and/or email Governor Cuomo every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and call and write the Governor every Tuesday and Thursday.
As many of you know, Jalil has been to the parole board ten times since 2002, when he first become parole eligible.
Jalil has been denied each time for a variety of reasons, all of which are tantamount to the nature of the crime—something that will never change.
After the last parole hearing and denial, pursuant to NYS Constitutional Article IV, Section 4, Jalil filed an Application to Commute the Sentence to Time Served with NYS Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Governor Cuomo has the authority to grant the Application and order Jalil’s immediate release from NYS DOCCS custody.
Since the Application’s submission it has been revealed that the NYS Board of Parole had a “secret deal” with the NYC Police Benevolent Association (PBA), permitting them to submit opposition letters directly to the Board of Parole from their website. These opposition letters negatively influenced the decision-making process, ensuring Jalil would not receive a fair and impartial parole hearing. During Jalil’s 2014 parole hearing, he was told that “current and former members of law enforcement” were parole commissioners, many of whom decided to deny his release.
On December 4th & 5th, 2016, The New York Times published an extensive exposé entitled “The Scourge of Racial Bias in New York States Prisons” that informed: “The racism can be felt from the moment a black inmate enters New York’s upstate prisons.” This implacable racism has been institutionalized in the entire parole system, permitting subjective biases of parole commissioners to influence parole decisions.
Since the submission of the Application to Commute the Sentence to Time Served, Governor Cuomo has received many letters and communications urging him to grant Jalil’s Application. However, due to the revelation of political collusion between the Board of Parole and the PBA, and the PBA/media backlash and scrutiny of the Parole Board’s release of Jalil’s co-defendant, it has become necessary to launch this May Day Initiative in support of Jalil’s Application.
Jalil exceeds all requirements for release. His release on parole has been supported by activists, academics and community leaders from across the country and around the world, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the family of one of the victims. The political nature of his conviction has prevented parole commissioners from giving fair and impartial consideration to his release, despite the overwhelming community support.
During his 47+ years of his imprisonment, Jalil has accomplished the following: Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Certificate of Architectural Drafting, Certificate of Computer Literacy.
He has established many programs, such as the first Men’s Group for therapeutic training in the NY State prison system, an African/Black Studies program, a computer literacy class, a Sociology class and a poetry class. He has received two commendations for preventing prison riots. He has raised money for the children’s fund, was office manager of the computer lab and a teacher’s aide for GED classes.
Jalil is also the recipient of several certificates for rehabilitation programming, and is a published author, poet, educator and blogger.
As a human rights advocate, he had the first U.S. prisoners national petition heard and recorded by a Special Committee at the United Nations on U.S. prisons and the existence of U.S. political prisoners. He has litigated several civil rights complaints on behalf of prisoners. In 2000, Essence magazine featured an article on father-daughter relationships. The article, entitled “Daddy Says,” quoted Jalil stressing the importance of maintaining these relations even during incarceration.
We request that people do the following for Jalil throughout the month of May:
On May 1, 2019, May Day, we are requesting that Friends and Supporters call, tweet, email and write NYS Govenor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office and appeal to him to grant Jalil’s Application to Commute the Sentence to Time Served.
We also request that this May Initiative be widely posted on social media platforms, encouraging freedom loving people around the world to join in this initiative.
Since this will be ongoing throughout the month of May, we propose that people tweet and/or email Governor Cuomo every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and call and write the Governor every Tuesday and Thursday.
Communications to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office must refer to Jalil as: ANTHONY JALIL BOTTOM, 77A4283, Sullivan Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 116, Fallsburg, New York 12733-0115.
Write the Governor:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of the State of New York
State Capital Building
Albany, New York 12224
Call the Governor: 1-518-474-8390
Tweet the Governor: @NYGovCuomo
Email the Governor: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form
Click here to download a pamphlet to distribute to
your family, friends, neighbors, faith group, etc.
Grant Release to Black Panther, Say Activists, Artists, Lawyers, Academics
The Center for Constitutional Rights . Learn more at ccrjustice.org.
Jalil Muntaqim, Jailed 48 Years, Has 12th Parole Hearing This Year
May 21, 2019, New York – Today, a group of prominent academics, lawyers, and activists published an open letter calling for the release of political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim (a/k/a Anthony Bottom), the only remaining Black Panther incarcerated in New York. He was arrested 48 years ago, when he was 19 years old, and is scheduled for his 11th parole hearing in September 2019. Signers include Professor Angela Davis of the University of California at Santa Cruz, Professor Cornel West of Harvard, actor and activist Danny Glover, musician and filmmaker Boots Riley, author Michelle Alexander, and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Cullors.
The letter reads:
We the undersigned offer our strongest support for the release of Jalil Muntaqim (aka Anthony Bottom) on parole. We also ask that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo commute his sentence to time served. Jalil was arrested in 1971 when he was only 19 years‐old and a member of the Black Panther Party. Forty‐eight years later he is the only Black Panther prisoner who remains incarcerated in New York State prisons. It is time for this father, grandfather and great grandfather to come home.
Over the decades, Jalil has consistently demonstrated his commitment to sustaining family relationships, pursuing educational advancement and providing service to the community, inside and outside of prison. He has served as a teacher, mentor and role model for hundreds of other incarcerated people. He stands as an example of the potential to reflect, change and grow despite the many challenges of the prison environment.
Jalil is scheduled for his twelfth parole hearing this coming September. One of his co‐defendants, Albert ‘Nuh” Washington, died in prison in 2000. The other, Herman Bell, was released in April 2018 after serving almost forty‐five years in prison. There is no justification for Jalil to be held in prison any longer. He should be released at his next parole hearing when he will be sixty‐eight years old. Jalil is scheduled for his twelfth parole hearing this coming September. One of his co‐defendants, Albert ‘Nuh” Washington, died in prison in 2000. The other, Herman Bell, was released in April 2018 after serving almost forty‐five years in prison. There is no justification for Jalil to be held in prison any longer. He should be released at his next parole hearing when he will be sixty‐eight years old.
We believe in the principles of restorative justice. While we understand the serious nature of the crimes for which Jalil has been convicted, a life sentence should not be a death sentence. Forty‐eight years is long enough. After all this time, Jalil Muntaqim belongs with his family and his community.
Muntaqim’s two codefendants are Herman Bell, who was released from prison in 2018 after serving almost 45 years in prison, and Albert “Nuh” Washington, who died in prison in 2000. Muntaquim will be 68 years old at his parole hearing.
’48 years is enough’: activists and celebrities call for release of ex-Black Panther
Seventy-five public figures sign letter to New York governor asking for release of Jalil Muntaqim after nearly five decades in prison
Leading civil rights activists, academics, actors and writers are calling on Andrew Cuomo to release Jalil Muntaqim, a former Black Panther who has been in prison for 48 years for one of the most high-profile killings of the 1970s black liberation struggle.
Seventy-five prominent public figures have signed a letter to the governor of New York state, headlined: “48 years is enough”. The letter asks Cuomo to commute Muntaqim’s sentence to time served. They include the writer and activist Angela Davis, who was herself put on trial for a 1970 courtroom kidnapping but later acquitted.
Among other signers are Cornel West of Harvard university, actor Danny Glover, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, film-maker Boots Riley and Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow.Advertisement
The authors write: “We believe in the principles of restorative justice. While we understand the serious nature of the crimes for which Jalil has been convicted, a life sentence should not be a death sentence. Forty-eight years is long enough. After all this time, Jalil Muntaqim belongs with his family and his community.”
The letter also emphasizes that he has had a clean prison record for decades. “He has served as a teacher, mentor and role model for hundreds of other incarcerated people and stands as an example of the potential to reflect, change and grow despite the many challenges of the prison environment.”
Muntaqim, whose birth name is Anthony Bottom, faces his 12th parole board in September, having been knocked back for release 11 times since he first became eligible in 2002 on a sentence of 25 years to life. He will be 68 at his next hearing.
He was arrested in 1971 at age 19 for the ambush and murder in Harlem of two police officers, Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones. Days after the shootings, the Black Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Black Panthers, claimed responsibility and three members were arrested.
Of his two co-defendants, Albert “Nuh” Washington died in prison in 2000 and Herman Bell was released on parole in April 2018.
The Guardian highlighted the struggle for release of Muntaqim in July 2018 as part of a series of articles on black power behind bars. At that time 19 black radicals were identified who were still imprisoned, in some cases almost 50 years after the crimes for which they were convicted.
Another former Black Panther profiled by the Guardian for the series, Mumia Abu Jamal, is among the signers of the new letter calling for Muntaqim’s release. Abu-Jamal remains behind bars in Pennsylvania as one of the 17 incarcerated black radicals, where he is serving a life sentence having been taken off death row in 2012.
Muntaqim’s battle for freedom after almost half a century in New York maximum-security prisons has been hampered by ongoing vociferous opposition from New York City police unions and from one of the widows of the two slain police officers. A further challenge has been Muntaqim’s unwillingness to denounce the black liberation struggle of which he was part.
Herman Bell secured his release in part upon his statement to the board in which he said of the 1971 incident: “There was nothing political about the act, as much as I thought at the time. It was murder and horribly wrong.”
Muntaqim is more resistant. Though he has admitted to committing the police killings, he continues to describe the 1970s black power movement as “noble”.
In an interview with the Guardian he said: “My engagement in the struggle was self-sacrifice because of my love of my people and humanity. Because of that I was targeted by the government and that indicates that my incarceration is of a political nature.”
Angela Davis told the Guardian that she believed black radicals in prison were being forced to denounce their politics before they could go free: “They have to denounce a party that was the forerunner of movements like Black Lives Matter today.”