Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Truth About "The MOVE 9" And Parole

(Picture of Police Officer Ramp and another officer after being hit by gunfire from MOVE)

It is difficult to say exactly why people disseminate false information. One of the more obvious reasons is that they themselves are mis-informed. Or perhaps, in an authoritarian culture such as that of MOVE, where "questioning" things is not exactly encouraged, mistakes are destined to be made. Either that, or people are purposely putting out misinformation for whatever reasons they feel the need to do so.

In this instance I am not in a place to make such a determination, but what I can say is that much of what MOVE has been saying about the upcoming parole hearings for the surviving eight members of the so-called MOVE 9 is simply not true.

Although these hearings are not to be had till 2008, a good deal of time and words have been spent discussing the subject. For those of you unfamiliar with the "MOVE 9" I would direct you to search this blog or my other MOVE website for more details. I will not go too far into it here, but I can say that the currently incarcerated MOVE members are imprisoned for the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer James Ramp and the attempted murder of several other police officers and firefighters.

What I will try to do is separate fact from MOVE’s fiction in order to provide people a more clear understanding as to what the factors are that will be under consideration when it comes to MOVE member’s parole. I will take the MOVE statement and than offer the truth about the situation based upon my research and sources. According to a statement on the "Free Mumia" website:

"Also, Del Africa recently informed us that Pennsylvania, along with several other states has a parole stipulation that dictates an inmate is not eligible for parole until he/she *confesses to the crime they were convicted for*. That's double jeopardy! It's completely illegal! So all innocent inmates are automatically ineligible for parole because they can't confess to a crime they didn't commit. And the guilty can walk. And all those exonerated mean nothing to the parole board. The theory is that by parole time all appeals are exhausted and you have to be guilty. So, by this very fact the MOVE 9, as it stands now, will be denied parole. "

The above statement, aside from it’s general silliness is that it is not true. The fact is that when an offender is released on parole, he/she does sign a standard form. However, nothing on that form relates at all to admission of guilt or anything that could be construed as an admission of guilt. The form is simply called "Conditions Governing Parole/Reparole" and, among other things, lists the office the parolee will report to within 48 hours of release, the approved home plan address, reporting instructions in the event of any arrest/summons/citation or change of employment, agreement to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and weapons, agreement to pay fines and restitution, and special conditions that specifically relate to the offender's situation.

Furthermore, other MOVE missives are encouraging supporters of the group to send letters to the Parole Board and other "officials" pertaining to the parole situation. Now, if MOVE supporters want to kill more trees in sending these pointless letters, than so be it. However, it is my understanding that such material will be relegated to the garbage bin to which they belong.
It is true that the MOVE members will be allowed to have witnesses testify on their behalf, though the testimony would be limited in it’s affect, as it will be relegated only to issues of character and not to the facts of the offenders conviction.

To be more clear, parole interviews are not forums to re-try cases or appeal them. And in case anyone is wondering, MOVE members have abandoned legal appeals and intend to rely upon the magic of John Africa to release them from jail.

I wish them good luck with the whole John Africa magic thing as it hasn’t worked out so well as of yet. Unless of course you count Merle Africa who did in fact leave prison in 1998, although she did so at room temperature, so I don’t really know if John Africa’s voodoo counts for that one.

But before anyone writes me off as some kind of monster for my recounting the fate of Merle I would only add that I think she was a person who John Africa took and squandered the potential of. I liked her. I wept at her death and recoiled in disgust when I heard Alberta Africa blame Merle’s death upon Merle’s lack of dedication to John Africa. A disgusting and cynical sentiment from a disgusting and cynical person. Had Merle not been caught up in John Africa’s madness I think there much she could have contributed to society. Yet she was, and therefore she spent the most productive and the last years of her life in jail as a murderer.

But I am getting off the subject.

At a parole hearing it is the nature and circumstances of the crime for which the offender was convicted, as well as the entirety of their criminal history (in MOVE’s case such a review could take days) that is taken into account. As is information regarding the general character and background of the offender. Notes of the testimony of the sentencing hearing which I am sure will include the comment of Judge Malmed who concluded that rehabilitation of MOVE members to be "absurd". Other recommendation are made by the prosecuting attorney, warden of the prison, and input from victims or their family members.

For those of you who are of the view that MOVE members have been spending their time in prison knitting sweaters and paining cute little pictures, allow me a moment to dispel this myth.

-Back in 1981 a MOVE inspired riot led to 27 injuries at Holmesburg prison

-MOVE members either initiated or participated in numerous other violent confrontations with prison authorities on numerous occasions that also led to various injuries to guards and prisoners.

-MOVE members engaged in disruptive "hunger strikes" as a means of protests.

-MOVE members have repeatedly been sent to "administrative segregation" for numerous infractions of prison policies and have taken a general counter-productive approach towards their incarceration.

-In typical MOVE fashion, MOVE members have taken no responsibility for the actions that they took on August 8, 1978 and instead insist on a revisionist and laughable scenario of that day that leaves them as the victims.

This should surprise nobody as it is apparent that no MOVE member has ever willingly admitted to doing anything wrong. I did, however, catch Ramona Africa cleverly dodging the issue by copping to plenty of pre-MOVE errors, but you will not catch this band of narcissists ever take the position that their view is anything other than perfect.

To release the "MOVE 9" from jail would be to embrace madness. It is a shame that John Africa has rotted out the brains of the "MOVE 9" and turned them into maniacal killers, but to release them upon society would only serve to make our world that much more of a dangerous place.

Let those of us who know the truth work to ensure that these criminals remain behind bars where they belong.


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