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Elmer Geronimo Pratt

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NEWS
May 6, 1987
Former Black Panther leader and convicted murderer Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt was denied parole from San Quentin State Prison for the seventh time by the state Board of Prison Terms. Board Chairman Edmund Tong said the Santa Monica murder for which Pratt was convicted in 1972 was committed in a "heinous, atrocious and cruel manner" and was one of the reasons his parole was rejected. Pratt's next parole hearing will take place in one year.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2011 | By Robert J. Lopez, Los Angeles Times
Elmer G. "Geronimo" Pratt, a former Los Angeles Black Panther Party leader whose 1972 murder conviction was overturned after he spent 27 years in prison for a crime he said he did not commit, has died. He was 63. Pratt, whose case became for many a symbol of racial injustices during the turbulent 1960s, died Thursday at his home in a small village in Tanzania, said his sister Virginia. The cause was not given. Pratt's case became a cause celebre for a range of supporters, including elected officials, activists, Amnesty International, clergy and celebrities who believed he was framed by Los Angeles police and the FBI because he was African American and a member of the radical Black Panthers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 2, 1996 | EDWARD J. BOYER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A key prosecution witness against imprisoned former Black Panther Party leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt has turned up in a confidential informant file kept by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. The revelation that Julius "Julio" Butler was an informant for Pratt's prosecutors could bolster Pratt's efforts to have his murder conviction overturned, his lawyers say. Other legal experts agreed that the new information gives Pratt at least more credibility.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 2000 | TINA DAUNT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A divided Los Angeles City Council on Friday narrowly approved spending $2.75 million to settle the city's portion of Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt's false imprisonment suit. Some council members argued before the 8-6 vote that the payout was too low for the former Black Panther Party leader, who spent 27 years in prison for a murder he insists he did not commit. Others complained that the settlement was excessive.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 1996
Former Black Panther Party leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt was denied parole Thursday for the 16th time since the 1968 murder of a Santa Monica teacher during an $18 robbery. Pratt is serving a life sentence for a murder he says the FBI knows he did not commit. Last month, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered prosecutors to respond to Pratt's request that his murder conviction be overturned.
NEWS
May 22, 1993 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Former Black Panther Party leader Elmer (Geronimo) Pratt was denied parole for the 12th time since the 1968 murder of a Southern California woman during a $30 robbery. After a three-hour hearing, the Board of Prison Terms found that Pratt was "not suitable for parole at this time." Pratt, who is serving a life sentence at the California Correctional Institute at Tehachapi and has always maintained his innocence, will be up for parole again in a year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 1997
Testimony on whether imprisoned former Black Panther Party leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt's murder conviction should be overturned concluded Friday, leaving Pratt's lawyers optimistic that their client has been given his best chance to win a new trial in the nearly 25 years since his conviction. The thrust of Pratt's request for a new trial was that the key witness against him, Julius C.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 19, 1996
Prosecutors argued in papers filed Tuesday that former Black Panther Party leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt's request for a hearing on a new murder trial is unwarranted. "Public pressure brought by uninformed citizens, celebrities, politicians and journalists cannot be the basis for an evidentiary hearing when there is no credible or new evidence to support such a hearing," the prosecutors wrote. The argument is contained in a 113-page legal brief filed with Superior Court Judge Michael Cowell.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 1997
Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, the former Black Panther Party leader convicted of murder in 1972, will have to wait a little longer to get the justice he says was denied 25 years ago. Santa Ana Superior Court Judge Everett W. Dickey said he will wait until March 13 to hear final arguments in Pratt's bid to overturn his conviction because Los Angeles prosecutor Brentford Ferreira has not returned to work following a minor stroke two weeks ago.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 2000 | EDWARD J. BOYER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A federal judge on Friday approved the $4.5-million settlement of a false-imprisonment suit filed by former Black Panther Party leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, who spent 25 years in prison for a murder he insists he did not commit. The city of Los Angeles will pay $2.75 million of the settlement, and the U.S. Department of Justice will pay $1.75 million. The City Council has to approve payment of the city's share.
NEWS
February 18, 1999 | EDWARD J. BOYER and STEVE BERRY, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti said Wednesday that he will accept an appellate court decision upholding the reversal of former Black Panther Party leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt's murder conviction, ending a criminal case that has been a part of Los Angeles' legal landscape for more than 30 years. "We will not proceed further with this case, either by rehearing, appeal or retrial," Garcetti said at a news conference in his office.
NEWS
February 17, 1999 | EDWARD J. BOYER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In what could be a fatal blow to prosecutors' efforts to return former Black Panther Party leader Elmer Gerard "Geronimo" Pratt to prison, a state appellate court Tuesday unanimously upheld a judge's decision overturning Pratt's 1972 murder conviction. Orange County Superior Court Judge Everett W. Dickey threw out that conviction in 1997, ruling that the Los Angeles County district attorney's office had concealed evidence that could have led the jury to reach a different verdict.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 1998 | EDWARD J. BOYER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A controversial witness against Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt is only one element in a strong murder case against the former Black Panther Party leader, prosecutors argued Tuesday. Pratt's attorneys, however, countered that the prosecution cannot distance itself from Julius Carl "Julio" Butler, a witness Orange County Superior Court Judge Everett W. Dickey said had lied when he testified that he had never been an informant for law enforcement.
NEWS
December 15, 1998 | EDWARD J. BOYER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
On a clear, chilly December evening 30 years ago, Kenneth Olsen, head of the English department at Belmont High School, and his wife, Caroline, drove to Santa Monica's Lincoln Park tennis courts to meet another couple for a friendly doubles match. The courts on Wilshire Boulevard at Seventh Street were dark when the Olsens arrived about 8 p.m. Caroline went to the light meter to deposit a quarter. When she had trouble getting the meter to work, Kenneth went to help.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 1998 | EDWARD J. BOYER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Former Black Panther Party leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, whose 1972 murder conviction was overturned a year ago, has filed a federal civil rights suit against the Los Angeles Police Department, the FBI and a key prosecution witness, alleging malicious prosecution. The suit seeks unspecified damages, "but it will be a large amount," said Brian Dunn, one of Pratt's attorneys.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 1998
Re "D.A. Appeals Decision to Release Ex-Black Panther," Jan. 31: Assuming that The Times quoted the district attorney's office correctly, I find the statement, "Nothing points to [Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt's] innocence; everything points to his guilt" absolutely incredible. Among numerous other problems with the district attorney's case, how can he possibly believe that Julius Butler's testimony, which was self-serving, is more credible than the testimony of retired FBI agent Wes Swearingen?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 1997 | From Times Wire Services
Former Black Panther Party leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt was hailed Saturday as a revolutionary hero whose spirit was not broken by 27 years of captivity for a murder he denies committing. Pratt spoke passionately to more than 500 people at an event billed as his first major public appearance in Los Angeles since his release from prison last month.
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