Hillary Clinton once supported Black Panthers on trial for murder-Truth!

Hillary Clinton Once Supported Black Panthers on Trial For Murder-Truth!


Summary of eRumor:
According to the eRumor, in the late 1960’s, two Black Panthers were tried for murder in the death of a fellow Black Panther, Alex Rackley.  Rackley was tortured before being killed.  The Panthers who were tried, Warren Kimbro and Erica Huggins, escaped prosecution thanks, in part, to the defense of Hillary Clinton.  Warren Kimbro went on to Harvard and became Assistant Dean of Eastern Connecticut State College.  Erica Huggins was elected to a school board.

The Truth:

This eRumor has developed a life of its own with differing interpretations of what is true or not true about it.

It circulated widely during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s year 2000 run for the U.S. Senate.
According to published accounts, Alex Rackley was a Panther recruit from New York who was tortured and killed in New Haven, Connecticut because he was suspected of being a police informant.  Twelve Panthers were indicted including Warren Kimbro, Erica Huggins, and Panther leader Bobby Seale.  Contrary to the email, Kimbro was not proven to be the “shooter” and did not stand trial, but did plead guilty to second degree murder.  He was later released from prison and admitted to Harvard.  We have not found evidence that he was a college dean.  Another Panther was convicted of having fired the fatal shot and was sentenced to life in prison.  Huggins and Seale were tried together, but the jury deadlocked and their cases were dismissed.
The Bobby Seales trial drew protests, not because the protestors approved of murder, but they felt that the Panthers were being treated unfairly by the authorities and that Seales, who was not personally involved in the killing, should not have been tried.  There were demonstrations at Yale, but they were  peaceful, did not “shut down” the university. Hillary was not an attorney at that time (which is what some of the versions of this email seem to suggest), but a student at Yale and, according to Roger Morris, author of PARTNERS IN POWER, helped organize shifts of students to monitor the courtroom.
John Elvin of Insight magazine looked into the Hillary-Panthers eRumor as well as how it was handled by some urban legends sites and wrote his findings in an article that appeared in July of 2000.  He quotes former sixties radical David Horowitz as saying that both Hillary Rodham and Bill Lann Lee organized demonstrations at Yale against the Panther trial.  Elvin also says, “Insight reviewed biographies of Hillary Clinton by Milton, Brock and Roger Morris for this story and lengthy selections from such other biographies as Barbara Olson’s Hell to Pay. Together, relying on primary and other firsthand sources, they unquestionably back Horowitz’s contention that Hillary was a campus leader during the Panther protests.”
Conservative commentator Joseph Farah says she also assisted Seales’ lawyer, Charles Garry.
That was all a long time ago and most of us would not want to be characterized by our views and activities in college or graduate school, but, for whatever it’s worth, they do become a part of our story.

Posted  11/14/01
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