Black Panthers - Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald - Black History and Literature Library
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  • Black Panthers - Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald - Black Activist, Black Man, Black Panther - Black History and Literature Library

    Black Panthers - Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald

    Affiliation: BPP 
    Conviction: In 1970 for the 1969 murder of a mall security guard, Barge Miller. Also for attempted murder of a California highway patrolman in a shootout following a traffic stop
    Sentence: Fitzgerald was sentenced to death. When the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty in 1972, California commuted both of his sentences to life in prison with possibility of parole.
    Case controversy: During Fitzgerald’s attempted murder trial, a police officer testified that he had orders to shoot members of the Black Panther Party. The judge ordered the jury to ignore that statement.>> In the case of the security guard murder, Fitzgerald says he was at home with his sister that night, but his alibi was ignored. >> A witness who says he saw Fitzgerald fleeing the scene could not identify him in photographs. During cross-examination, the witness could not describe him to the judge without looking at Fitzgerald. >> In appealing his conviction, Fitzgerald unsuccessfully argued that the evidence used to convict him was insufficient and that his rights to an attorney were denied as he had sought to have his court appointed attorney replaced.
    Years incarcerated: 46. Several years in solitary confinement led him to stage a hunger strike in 2010. Although eligible for parole since 1976, he has been denied repeatedly for decades. -
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