- Former Black Panther held for more than twenty-years in solitary confinement has won permanent reprieve from solitary after filing suit in federal court
- Russel “Maroon” Shoatz was also awarded nearly $100,000 in a settlement with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
- He was convicted of first-degree murder in 1970 for an attack on a Philadelphia police station that left one officer killed and another wounded
- In the 1980s he got involved with the Pennsylvania Association of Lifers in an effort to abolish sentences of life without parole
- “I have always chosen to fight! Frederick Douglass was right when he said ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’ So have no doubt that I see this settlement as anything but the latest blow struck,” Shoatz stated in a response to the settlement through his lawyers.
- Many believe his solitary confinement was retaliation for his activism
- Shoatz also escaped from prison, more than once
- Shoatz injured a prison guard with a knife – he also went to a prison guard’s home and kidnapped the guard, his wife, and their 5-year-old son, tying them to a tree
- Shoatz’s son says his dad wants to use the money to help released convicts reenter society
- “No money can make up for what they did to my daddy,” says Theresa Shoatz, Russel’s daughter
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