[Ppnews] San Quentin inmate loses ruling on book - Black Panthers dangerous

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Nov 22 13:31:26 EST 2012

*San Quentin inmate loses ruling on book*

November 12, 2012


Officers at San Quentin's Death Row were entitled to confiscate a Black 
Panther book that they considered a potential recruiting tool for a 
prison gang, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The book, "The Black Panthers 
by Stephen Shames 
was mailed in 2009 to Javance Wilson 
who had been sentenced to death for the murders of two cabdrivers in San 
Bernardino County in 2000. Its contents included the Panthers' 10-point 
platform and photos of George Jackson 
a prison revolutionary killed in a 1971 escape attempt.

Guards seized it from the mail, saying that the Panthers were a 
disruptive group and that books about the group were used as training 
materials for the Black Guerrilla Family prison gang. One officer said 
the book contained "anti-government/law enforcement ideologies which are 
not conducive to a prison setting."

Wilson said he owned other books about the Black Panthers, was not a 
gang member and, because of security measures on Death Row, would be 
unable to show the book to other prisoners once he received it.

But Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware 
rejected Wilson's claim that the seizure violated his right of free 
expression. The Black Guerrilla Family is a dangerous gang, Ware said in 
his August 2011 ruling, and courts "must defer to prison authorities' 
professional judgment" that the gang could use the book to indoctrinate 
new members.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals 
in San Francisco upheld Ware in a 3-0 decision Tuesday, saying the 
book's confiscation was "reasonably related to a legitimate 
correctional goal."

Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle 
staff writer. E-mail: begelko at sfchronicle.com 
<mailto:begelko at sfchronicle.com>

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