Text: H.Res.378 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

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HRES 378 IH
102d CONGRESS
2d Session
H. RES. 378
Expressing the sense of the House that the Governor of the State of California,
or the California Board of Prison Terms, or both, should take actions within
their power to bring about the reconsideration of the 1972 conviction and/or
the immediate release from prison of Elmer `Geronimo' Pratt, and that the
Judiciary Committee should inquire into the information known to the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, which was not released to the California Attorney
General and courts in 1980.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 26, 1992
Mr. DELLUMS submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary
RESOLUTION
Expressing the sense of the House that the Governor of the State of California,
or the California Board of Prison Terms, or both, should take actions within
their power to bring about the reconsideration of the 1972 conviction and/or
the immediate release from prison of Elmer `Geronimo' Pratt, and that the
Judiciary Committee should inquire into the information known to the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, which was not released to the California Attorney
General and courts in 1980.
Whereas Elmer `Geronimo' Pratt, a former Black Panther Party leader in Southern
California, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1972 for murder,
assault, and robbery;
Whereas Elmer `Geronimo' Pratt maintains he did not commit these crimes and
asserts his innocence would be proven through the release of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation surveillance records;
Whereas the Federal Bureau of Investigation engaged in illegal and
unconstitutional conduct in an effort to neutralize and destroy the Black
Panther Party and its leadership, including Elmer `Geronimo' Pratt;
Wheras the Federal Bureau of Investigation actively sought to bring about
the arrest and conviction of Elmer `Geronimo' Pratt and other Black Panther
Party leaders through its counterintelligence program (commonly referred to
as `COINTELPRO'), in order to achieve its purpose of disrupting the Black
Panther Party, whether or not facts existed to substantiate the charges made;
Whereas the Federal Bureau of Investigation withheld evidence from the
prosecutor, police, Elmer `Geronimo' Pratt, his attorneys and the jury at
this trial, and knowingly allowed their informant Julius Butler, informant
numbered 170-1259 to deny that he was an informant or had ever worked for the
Federal Bureau of Investigation at Pratt's trial, and by so doing effectively
denied him his fundamental constitutional right to a fair trial, in violation
of the guarantees of due process and the equal protection of the laws;
Whereas Federal Bureau of Investigation wrongdoing in the case of Elmer
`Geronimo' Pratt has been established through exhaustive examination of
thousands of pages of official Federal Bureau of Investigation documents
obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and subsequently corroborated
by the sworn testimony of a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation special
agent who has personal knowledge of that wrongdoing;
Whereas Amnesty International, the London based human rights organization,
after undertaking a thorough review of the evidence in the case of Elmer
`Geronimo' Pratt, concluded that `COINTELPRO' involved abuses of the criminal
justice system and that `there were signs of misconduct by the Federal Bureau
of Investigation in the handling of (Pratt's) case';
Whereas Elmer `Geronimo' Pratt has spent over eighteen years in prison
pursuant to his arrest and conviction for a State offense accomplished
without disclosure to the prosecutor, court, jury and Pratt and his counsel
of the fact that he was targeted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's
`COINTELPRO' program, and that the primary witness against him was a
`COINTELPRO' informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and
Whereas it is appropriate to rectify the gross injustice before doing so
would be reduced to a meaningless posthumous gesture: Now, therefore, be it
  Resolved, That it is the sense of the House that--
  (1) Elmer `Geronimo' Pratt, convicted of murder, assault, and robbery
  charges in a California State court in 1972, did not receive a fair trial
  because of secret Federal Bureau of Investigation efforts to discredit Elmer
  `Geronimo' Pratt, by the dissemination of false information about him and
  Federal Bureau of Investigation concealment of the informant status of
  the primary witness against him;
  (2) comprehensive congressional inquiries are warranted in order to
  ascertain the full extent of information which was withheld from the
  California court's and prosecuting authorities in 1980; and
  (3) the Governor of the State of California, or the California Board of
  Prison Terms, or both, should take actions within their power to bring about
  the reconsideration of the 1972 conviction and/or the immediate release from
  prison of Elmer `Geronimo' Pratt, and that the Judiciary Committee should
  inquire into the information known to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
  which was not released to the California Attorney General and courts in 1980.

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