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Cuba: Distorted History, Different Rules

This past May in Newark, the FBI added former Black Liberation Army mercenary Joanne Chesimard to its Most Wanted Terrorists list at a ceremony held on the 40th anniversary of New Jersey’s most infamous cop killing.  Now known as Assata Shakur, the step-aunt of the late rapper Tupac Shakur became the 46th fugitive—as well as the first woman and the second American—added to the loathsome roster created by George W. Bush in response to the September 11 attacks.  After a string of acquittals on separate bank-robbery and kidnapping charges, Chesimard’s luck ran out in 1977 when a jury convicted her of both first- and second-degree murder along with six assault charges for her participation in the 1973 roadside execution of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster.  Judge Theodore Appleby slapped Chesimard with a mandatory life sentence for the slaying, plus another 26 to 33 years to be served consecutively for the assault charges.  Upon hearing her sentence, Chesimard hissed at the court that she was “ashamed that I have even taken part in this trial” before slandering the jurors as “racist.”  Radical lawyer William Kunstler echoed his client’s accusations and further inflamed racial tensions by kvetching, “The white element was there to destroy her.”

As Kunstler prepared to appeal Chesimard’s convictions...

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