[Ppnews] Veronza Bowers Release Delayed Again

PPnews at freedomarchives.org PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jun 15 08:43:22 EDT 2005

Release From Prison Delayed for Ex-Activist


The case of the former Black Panther and convicted killer will be reviewed. 
He was to have been freed next week.

By Ann M. Simmons
Times Staff Writer

June 15, 2005

The release from prison of a man convicted of killing a park ranger near 
San Francisco 31 years ago has been delayed pending further review, law 
enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Veronza Leon Curtis Bowers Jr., 59, and a former captain of the Black 
Panther Party, was expected to leave federal prison in Coleman, Fla., on 
June 21, after a decision last month by the U.S. Parole Commission.

But the Fraternal Order of Police said Tuesday that U.S. Atty. Gen. Alberto 
Gonzales had granted the association's request for the National Appeals 
Board to review Bowers' case.

The board has 60 to 90 days to reassess the case, police officials said.

"I am very pleased with the attorney general's action and his swift 
response to our request," Chuck Canterbury, national president of the 
police association, said. "There is no way that a reasonable person can 
believe that this cop-killer, who describes himself to this day as a 
'political prisoner' in fascist America, should be released."

Bowers was convicted in 1974 of killing Kenneth Patrick, 40, as the ranger 
was tracking poachers at Point Reyes National Seashore in August 1973.

Bowers has maintained his innocence, insisting that government authorities 
framed him. Sentenced to life, Bowers became eligible, under federal law, 
for release after 30 years. This week's decision to review his case marked 
the third time his quest for freedom had been delayed.

Bowers had expected to be paroled April 7, 2004, and then in February. But 
appeals to the Parole Commission from law enforcement officials and the 
ranger's widow, who was left with three children, helped block Bowers' release.

Bowers' lawyer could not be reached Tuesday for comment. In the past, the 
ex-Panther's supporters have alleged media bias against Bowers, who 
composes music in prison and founded a spiritual healing group.

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