To the Editors:
Twenty-one members of the New York Black Panther Party have been indicted and charged with conspiracy to murder by blowing up a number of New York department stores, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, New Haven Railroad tracks, and police precincts. Of these twenty-one, fourteen were arrested in New York (one of whom is out on $10,000 bail), two were already in custody in Newark on other charges, and five are not in custody. Ten of the thirteen who remain in jail are being held on $100,000 bail, two on $50,000 bail, and one on $25,000 bail, a total of $1,125,000. Thus far the lawyers have succeeded in preventing the judge from trying the case overnight but have not succeeded in reducing the amount of the excessive and probably unconstitutional bail. The defendants are held in five different New York jails and their lawyers have encountered extraordinary difficulties in seeing them so as to prepare their case. Funds are desperately needed now to obtain the release of at least some of the defendants so that the lawyers can properly defend them against the charge of conspiracy. Checks should be made out to: Black Panther Party Legal Defense Fund, and mailed to William M. Kunstler, 511 Fifth Avenue, New York City.
New York City