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George Jackson
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Outlaw
    (September 23, 1941-August 21, 1971)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    At age 18, convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to serve one year to life
    In prison became a Communist and Black Panther
    Wrote 'Blood In My Eye' and 'Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson'
    He and two other inmates were charged with murdering guard John V. Mills in retaliation for the shooting deaths of three black inmates by another guard (January 16, 1970).
    His 17-year-old brother Jonathan burst into a Marin Country courtroom with an automatic weapon and took Judge Harold Haley, an assistant DA and three jurors hostage, demanding the release of George and George's co-defendants (August 7, 1970).
    Jonathan Jackson, Judge Haley and two prisoners freed during the incident were killed trying to escape from the courthouse.
    Three days before his trial was to start, he used a smuggled semi-automatic pistol to release an entire floor of prisoners in the maximum security wing, yelling, 'This is it, gentlemen, the dragon has come!'
    During the uprising, three guards and two prisoners suspected of being snitches were killed before Jackson was shot dead by a guard.
    A protest over his death at Attica prison in New York developed into a riot in which 28 inmates and nine guards died (September 9-13, 1971).
    Although there was evidence he was innocent of the armed robbery, his court-appointed lawyer convinced him to plead guilty because it would lead to a lighter sentence.
    He supporters claimed he was murdered and the weapon planted on him.
    The two other prisoners accused of murdering Mills were acquitted by a jury.
    Bob Dylan wrote the song 'George Jackson' about him.

Credit: C. Fishel


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