Representing the Panthers in Downstate Illinois

On November 12,1970, there was a predawn shootout between the Panthers and police at a Panther house in downstate Carbondale, Illinois and three Panthers were arrested. At the request of Bobby Rush, we went down to investigate and to get the Panthers out on bond. Jeff and Flint were joined by Michael Deutsch, who had recently given up a clerkship in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in order to join the office. We were successful in getting the defendants freed on bond, and gathered physical evidence at the apartment in a similar manner to the Hampton case.

In the spring of 1971, we decided to open a branch office in Carbondale to deal with the Panther defense, as well as other movement cases arising from Southern Illinois University and the community. Michael, Flint, and Steven White moved south, and were assisted by local people including Patricia Handlin and Arnie Jochums. In the summer of 1971, the case went to trial, with the legal team consisting of Jeff, Michael, Flint, and Steve White. At the end of the trial the “Carbondale 3” were acquitted on all 41 counts. We became close to the Panthers in Carbondale, and were moved by their dedication and commitment. We were particularly impressed by the leadership of Jimmy Brewton, later known as Ali Shanna, who displayed many of the same qualities as Fred Hampton.

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