Dear Friends and Curious Subscribers to the Kersplebedeb Mailing List,
I am writing you all on behalf of one of the people whom i have been most honoured to work with through Kersplebedeb Publishing. Zolo Agona Azania is an incredible artist as well as being the author of "Money and Power, Hook or Crook", a series of introductory essays dealing with the psychological and moral distortions of capitalism, and the need for a socialist alternative, from a working class New Afrikan (Black) point of view.
For more than 23 years Zolo Agona Azania has been imprisoned on Indiana’s death row, convicted of killing a police officer. He was a political activist at the time of his arrest, and his conviction was politically motivated. Twice he has been sentenced to die and twice the death sentence has been reversed on appeal due to exposure of wrongdoing on the part of the prosecutors office. This includes suppression of favorable evidence by the prosecution, ineffective assistance of counsel, and systematic exclusion of Blacks from the jury pool. Zolo did not receive a fair trial and has always maintained his total innocence of any involvement in the crime.
Zolo Agona Azania is one of the many persons of African descent who are literally buried alive in concrete dungeons, victims of a racially biased criminal justice system. Politically active at the time of his arrest, Zolo has been committed to the struggle for social justice for all peoples since before his imprisonment on death row. He is a political prisoner.
On May 1, 2005, Judge Steven David granted Zolo’s motion to bar the State of Indiana from seeking the death penalty for the third time. Yet again Zolo has forced the State to acknowledge that its pursuit of the death penalty is in fact a pursuit of injustice and persecution.
In the words of Judge David : "In analyzing the period of delay between the defendant’s 1982 conviction and the currently pending penalty proceeding, it is clear from the record that the state bears most of the responsibility for the delay."
The Judge went on to state that this 24 year delay between the offense and the scheduled sentencing hearing in January, 2006, "has significantly compromised Defendant’s Constitutional protections and as a result prejudice will result in allowing the State to proceed with the death Penalty after so much time has elapsed."
Also, "fundamental principles of fairness, due process, and speedy justice warrant this court prohibiting the State to seek the death penalty against this Defendant in this case under these circumstances."
This is a wonderful victory for Zolo, his legal team, his supporters, and all those who oppose the death penalty !
But remember : this is not the first time Zolo has been vindicated by a court decision, in fact as noted above he already succeeded in having the death penalty overturned not once but twice... and each time the State compounded the initial injustice of this case by seeking the death penalty yet again.
Which is why it is particularly outrageous to read in the May 4th Fort Wayne Journal Gazette that the Lake County Prosecutors Office intends to appeal this most recent decision. Such an appeal for the death penalty after so many admissions of wrongdoing on the part of the State shows how cheap Black people’s lives are for the hangmen of American "justice".
This is why I am writing you. In the current situation, where the State is still seeking the legal murder of this innocent man, it is important to speak up in the name of justice. It is very important that as many people as possible contact Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter and urge him to stop seeking the death penalty against Zolo and to not appeal this most recent decision by Judge David. Let him know that it is not in the interests of justice, not in the interests of the people of Lake County, and is in fact a waste of their resources. Enough is enough !
Contact him at :
The Honorable Bernard A. Carter
Building B, 1st floor
2293 N. Main Street
Crown Point, IN 46307 usa
(Thoughtful and respectful phone calls, faxes and letters are most effective.)
For more information about this case, and to keep abreast of new developments, please check out the following webpages devoted to supporting Zolo Agona Azania and his struggle for justice :