[Ppnews] Robert Seth Hayes' Parole Hearing postponed - Letters still needed ASAP

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sun Sep 21 13:19:01 EDT 2008


Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2008 13:57:45 -0400
  Subject: [ABCF] Robert Seth Hayes' Parole 
Hearing postponed - A Message from Seth - Letters still needed ASAP



  Dear friends, please pass this on as far as you can. Please note that
  we're currently experiencing problems with Seth's website
  www.sethhayes.org but we should have those fixed shortly. Please send in
  letters in support of Seth's parole as soon as possible as the hearing
  could happen anytime between September and December of 2008. For more
  information please email torontoabcf at gmail.com

  In solidarity,


  the Toronto Chapter of the Anarchist Black Cross Federation



  From Robert Seth Hayes
  #74A2280, Wende Corr. Facility
  P.O. Box 1187, Alden, NY
  14004-1187, USA


  September 8, 2008

  Dear friends and supporters,

  This brief letter wishes to update you about my strategy to gain
  immediate release from confinement and return to working in the
  community. Many of you know that I was expecting a parole board hearing
  in September 2008. As it was, I was belatedly informed that the hearing
  would commence on September 3, 2008. On the second of September I
  reached out to my attorney Susan Tipograph to discuss the hearing
  schedule and then learned of the passing of Comrade Bashir Hameed a.k.a.
  James York. A strong and positive Brother in our struggle to free the
  land, spirit and inhabitants, Bashir joined our ancestors on August 30,
  2008. I ask you to join me in sending up prayers of rejoicing to a
  soldier whose contributions have sustained many of us.

  As I struggled with the news of Bashir, I pondered the input of Susan on
  seeking a second installment from the parole board as we again seek
  information promoting a stronger defense at a future parole board
  hearing. I listened, contemplated and decided such a proposal was
  necessary. I went to the parole board hearing on the third of September
  and sought a postponement for at least 30 days, pending advice from my
  attorney. It was granted. I received confirmation on September 5
  informing me that postponement was granted for December 2008 or sooner.

  What does that mean? It means we must consolidate our efforts to put
  forth a stronger position than initiated before. Quality is a must. For
  those of you out there with connections in the political arena, you
  should connect with political representatives and instruct them to
  submit letters of assurance to the parole board on my behalf, offering
  housing, jobs, education opportunities and any potential help that would
  result in a smoother transition back to the community. Community
  activists, church leaders, politicians, etc. should all be contacted and
  asked for their support. What we need are issues that parole
  commissioners can view and recognize as serious and unwavering support.
  I will do my part in making a presentation suitable to our task.

  Please visit my webpage www.sethhayes.org for background information.
  Remember, “many are called, few are chosen.” If you are one of those who
  step up (the chosen), I thank you and honor your support. For those who
  in the past absently committed without maintaining their support (the
  many), here is your chance to redeem self and reputation.

  This missive must remain brief, as there are many awaiting word that I
  must reach out.

  My love and respect to you.
  Forward our righteous struggle to its conclusion!
  My love,

  Robert Seth’ Hayes



  *PLEASE FORWARD*

  Support Parole for US Political Prisoner Robert 'Seth' Hayes! - Letters
  needed by May 30th 2008

  Locked down for more than a lifetime: Soliciting letters of support for
  a U.S. political prisoner Robert Seth
  Hayes’s Parole – May 2008

  A letter from the Robert Seth Hayes Support Committee -
  www.sethhayes.org | info (at) sethhayes.org

  Robert “Seth” Hayes is a U.S. political prisoner and former member of
  the Black Panther Party who has been imprisoned in New York state for
  more than three decades. When Seth was convicted in 1974, his sentence
  was 25 years to life. The implicit understanding at the time of his
  sentencing was that Seth would serve 25 years as a minimum, after which
  time he would be eligible for release based on his record and conduct in
  prison.

  In June of 2008, Seth will be going before the parole board for the
  fifth time. At each of Seth’s previous parole hearings, he was denied
  release due to the serious nature of the crime he was convicted for and
  given another two years in jail. The refusal of parole for the serious
  nature of the crime seems contrary to the spirit of the law, for it is
  something that a prisoner can never change, and the giving of parole is
  based upon the prisoner's behavior while behind bars.

  Seth is not the only one being subjected to these unfair rules. This has
  become common practice for the New York state parole board, who, by
  denying parole based on the seriousness of the conviction, are defacto
  re-sentencing many prisoners to life in prison without the possibility
  of parole.

  Seth’s prison record is exemplary, and if a decision about Seth’s parole
  were to be based on his conduct and personal growth, he would have
  rejoined his family and his community years ago.

  Please write a letter to the parole board to let them know that you
  think Seth deserves to be released. Write your own letter, or use the
  sample letter that has been included in this document.

  If you have a personal relationship with Seth, please consider writing
  about this relationship in your letter. If you work with a community
  organization or union, have a professional job, or are a rock star,
  please consider mentioning this in your letter (or writing on
  letterhead, etc.).

  If you decide to personalize your letter, you may choose to include
  information drawn from the short biography also included in this
  package, where some of Seth’s accomplishments are highlighted.

  More information about Seth can be found on a web page that has been put
  together by his supporters at www.sethhayes.org

  All letters should be mailed or faxed to the Senior Parole Officer at
  Wende Correctional facility with a copy going to Seth’s lawyer, Susan
  Tipograph, as soon as possible, as Seth's parole hearing could take
  place any time between September 30th and December 31st of 2008. Please
  send all of your letters to:

  Senior Parole Officer
  Wende Correctional Institute
  P.O. Box 1187, (3622 Wende Road) Alden, NY
  14004-1187, USA

  and send a copy or a fax to:

  Susan Tipograph

  Attorney At Law
  350 Broadway
  New York, NY
  10013
  fax (212) 625-3939


  Sample Letter

  Re: Robert Seth Hayes

  #74A2280

  Dear Senior Parole Officer of Wende Correctional Institute,

  I am writing on behalf of Robert Hayes who is scheduled to appear before
  the parole board for the fifth time in July of 2006.

  Robert Hayes' application for parole was denied when he last appeared
  before the board two years ago. At the time of that appearance, his
  record was excellent. However, since that time his record is
  outstanding. Mr. Hayes has continued to work to help others and improve
  himself. While at Clinton Correctional Facility, he facilitated in the
  HIV Educators program to assist others as well as becoming a member of
  the Lifer's and Long Termers Organization whose primary goal is to
  educate and instruct newly arriving inmates in adjustment to and
  preparation for final release from incarceration. Since his transfer to
  Wende Correctional Facility, he has coached basketball and participated
  in a local restorative justice project. These are but a few of his many
  accomplishments over his years of incarceration. I am confident that
  were he to be released, he would be a great asset to the community and
  to society at large.

  There is no question that the crime for which Mr. Hayes was convicted
  was a serious crime. However, he has shown remorse and takes full
  responsibility for his acts. I am sure that you will agree that after
  serving almost 33 years Mr. Hayes’ release at this time would not so
  deprecate the seriousness of the crime so as to undermine respect for
  the law. Moreover, if you examine all of the factors that are used to
  predict whether person is most likely to recidivate, those factors
  indicate that Mr. Hayes will not engage in any criminal activity. His
  disciplinary history during his incarceration indicates that he obeys
  the rules in prison; he has a supportive network of family and friends
  on the outside available to assist him in his reintegration back into
  society and he had an extensive work history prior to being incarcerated
  in addition to obtaining marketable skills in prison that will help him
  to obtain employment. Nothing is gained by his continued incarceration,
  and much is lost, as he has much to offer the community upon his release.

  By the time that Mr. Hayes appears before the parole board, he will be
  58 years old – more than 30 years older and considerably wiser than the
  man who was charged with committing the crime. He is a compassionate,
  caring individual and deserves a second chance. Please grant Mr. Hayes
  parole and give him that second chance.

  Sincerely,

  _____________________

  Biography

  Robert Seth Hayes was born in Harlem, New York in October 1948. His
  father, John Franklin Hayes, was the child of sharecroppers and came to
  New York City from South Carolina; his mother, Francine Washington
  Hayes, moved to New York from Pittsburgh. Both of Mr. Hayes’ parents
  worked for the U.S. Postal Service, trying to provide a better life for
  Seth and his four brothers and sisters. They also instilled in their
  children the desire to work for the betterment of their community. Seth
  writes, “My mother taught me to visualize family universally, not
  individually.” Seth’s father was a World War II veteran and a member of
  the United Negro Improvement Association, the Black Nationalist
  organization founded by Marcus Garvey.

  Growing up in New York City, first in Harlem, later in the Bronx and
  Queens, Mr. Hayes saw one Black neighborhood after another suffering
  from neglect, despair, anger and defeat. During 1950s and 1960s with the
  growing rise of the civil rights and Black power movements Seth recalls
  witnessing over the years a birth of hope and determination to overcome
  these conditions.

  After his schooling in New York City, Mr. Hayes worked as a psychiatric
  aide at Creedmoor Hospital. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent
  to Vietnam. He saw combat, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart,
  National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the
  Vietnam Campaign Medal.

  In the armed forces, Seth underwent a change of consciousness. After
  the death of Martin Luther King Junior in 1968, Seth’s troop was ordered
  to patrol the city streets with fixed bayonets to put down the
  rebellions resulting from Dr. King’s assassination. “It was the saddest
  day of my life,” Seth remembers, “and I could never identify again with
  the aims of the armed forces or the government.”

  Upon returning to the United States from Vietnam, Seth was swept up in
  the Black Liberation movement and joined the Black Panther Party. He
  worked in the free breakfast for children program and began dedicating
  his life to the betterment of Black people. His knowledge of the
  effects of racism on the Black community convinced him that the Black
  Panthers’ program of community service ad community self-defense was
  what was needed. His work, like that of so many others, was disrupted
  by COINTELPRO. Fearing further attacks, he went underground, believing
  it to be the only way to protect the work of the Black Panther Party and
  the Black movement in general.

  Robert Seth Hayes had two children prior to his arrest and imprisonment,
  and he has remained closely involved their lives and upbringing, despite
  the difficulties presented by his long incarceration. His son, Chunga,
  lives and works in Atlanta. His daughter, Crystal, herself mother of
  14-year-old Myaisha, is a student at the Smith College graduate school
  of social work in Western Massachusetts. Seth calls his family “the
  loves of my life.” He describes his relationship with Crystal this way,
  “She has had the most intense impact on my life, always questioning,
  full of joy and insight, grasping lessons and maintaining her own
  dreams. She has kept me striving always to expand my knowledge and
  illuminate my principles, as I struggle to stay abreast of her
  questioning mind.”

  Seth has been diagnosed with Type II diabetes and Hepatitis C. He has
  been extremely ill and had great difficulty procuring the necessary
  healthcare and has needed the help of his lawyers and some state
  political leaders in order to get adequate treatment.

  While in prison, Seth continues to work for the betterment of the
  community in which he lives. He has participated in programs with the
  NAACP, the Jaycees and other organizations and has worked as a
  librarian, pre-release advisor and AIDS counselor. Whenever possible, he
  has taken college courses. He is also a longtime advisor and
  collaborator in the annual “Certain Days” Political Prisoner calendar
  project. He is dedicated to continuing to work for social justice when
  he gets out of prison. At Wende correctional facility where he is
  currently incarcerated, Seth is working to put together a "lifers
  program" to help rehabilitate prisoners and prepare them to reenter the
  community. Seth also coaches basketball and works on assisting a local
  restorative justice project taking place in Buffalo.

  For more information about Seth, please check out www.sethhayes.org or
  e-mail info (at) sethhayes.org.





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