The Fred Hampton Appeal

After spending 18 months fighting Judge Perry’s attempts to hide the truth of the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark at the Hampton trial, we spent much of 1978 preparing the Hampton appeal. This was a massive task which involved reading and abstracting a 37,000 page record, and writing a 250 page brief, which had Fred and Mark’s pictures on the inside cover and a signature page which proclaimed  “All Power to the People.” We were assisted in our efforts by Jon Moore, a graduating DePaul law student, and a crew of devoted typists who tirelessly did many of our large typing tasks, often working with us through the night.

In April 1979, the Seventh Circuit issued its opinion in Hampton. In a landmark decision authored by Judge Luther Swygert, the court reversed Judge Perry’s entry of directed verdicts, found there to be substantial evidence of a conspiracy between the FBI, Hanrahan, and the police to murder Fred and destroy the Panthers, found that the FBI had obstructed justice by suppressing 200 volumes of documents, and reversed the contempt citations against Flint and Jeff. Soon thereafter, Judge Swygert received a “Right on Luther” tee shirt, compliments of the People’s Law Office.

After the case was sent back to the District Court for trial it was assigned to a new judge. Utilizing the powerful Court of Appeals decision, we sought sanctions against the defendants for their obstruction of justice and fabrication of a second informant, complete discovery, and enforcement of the Court of Appeals’ finding that our evidence had proven a conspiracy among the defendants. Given these new realities, in 1983 the City, County, and FBI combined to provide a $1.85 million settlement.

History by Section

Early Days
The Murder of Fred Hampton
Government Surveillance
Representing the Panthers in Downstate Illinois
Attica New York Prison Riots
The Fred Hampton Murder Trial
Prisoner Rights Work
Puerto Rican Independence Movement and the Puerto Rican Community
Fred Hampton Appeal
George Jones Street Files and False Imprisonment
Representing Demonstrators, Protestors, and Activists
Puerto Rico Work Continues
Police Brutality and Torture
Continuing to Represent Demonstrators and Activists
The Attica Prison Civil Case
Continuing Work in Solidarity With Puerto Rico
Fighting the Death Penalty
Sexual Abuse Litigation and Illegal Strip Search
Back to the Supreme Court
The 1996 Democratic Convention
Policy and Practice Cases
False Arrests and Convictions
Continuing to Defend Dissent
Continuing the Fight for Justice in the Chicago Police Torture Cases
Criminal Defense for Civil Rights Abuses
Jail Suicide
Opposing the Criminalization of the LGBTQ Community
People’s Law Office and The National Lawyers Guild