Next court date: Friday, March 6 at 10am – pack the court!
Luzerne County Courthouse, Wilkes-Barre, PA, hearing on motions to dismiss the charges. The start of the trial, should it go forward, has been scheduled for August 24, 2015.
The Dallas 6 are six African-American prisoners in solitary confinement in the SCI Dallas Pennsylvania prison who blew the whistle on and peacefully protested against abuse and violence by prison guards in 2010. They were charged with “rioting” and have been on trial ever since in “kids for cash” Luzerne County.
Derrick Stanley and Shandre Delaney debrief with supporters after the hearing
Feb 19th court summary.
Testimony on the motions to dismiss the charges will now be heard on Friday March 6, as the February 19 session was spent instead on negotiating a favorable plea agreement for Carrington Keys and Anthony Locke which was upended at the last minute by Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie J. Salavantis, drawing more attention to Dallas 6 claims of retaliation, personal vendetta and corruption. DA Salavantis has personal ties to SCI Dallas prison. Plea agreement for Derrick Stanley proceeds. Over 40 supporters packed the court.
Press coverage breakthrough.
The Luzerne County-based Times Leader finally covered the hearing, after family members went over to the office to present information. This article was published on Monday, Feb 23: Has videotape of cell extraction at Dallas SCI in Luzerne County been altered? Please leave a comment on the story at the link to show your support for the Dallas 6. A letter to the editor is being drafted to correct the inaccuracy that Carrington Keys and Anthony Locke pled guilty.
Also, prisoner Kerry “Shakaboona” Marshall of the Human Rights Coaltion’s The Movement recorded a piece on the Dallas 6 for Prison Radio. Listen here
Nearly forty Dallas 6 supporters from across Pennsylvania, including a growing contingent from Luzerne County, waited patiently outside the courtroom on Thursday morning as defense lawyers Michael Wiseman, Ernie Preate and the prisoners negotiated the terms of a plea deal with the prosecution.
The plea deal, which was open to any of the men, would have dropped all felony charges, including extra felony charges on Carrington Keys; the misdemeanor charges would result in no new jail time for any of the prisoners and no probation, including Derrick Stanley who is already out of prison; and the plea would not be legally considered an admission of guilt. The Dallas 6 discussed and decided that Carrington Keys and Derrick Stanley would accept the deal, while Duane Peters and Andre Jacobs would take the case to trial.
The fact that the Dallas 6 were offered such a deal indicates the weakness of the prosecution’s case and the reluctance of the Assistant District Attorney to try the case. Attorney Wiseman’s arguments exposed weaknesses at the last hearing, in particular that the men could not have been “rioting” when isolated in cells and in submissive positions. Additionally, for over 4 years the prosecution has tampered with and withheld evidence that would exonerate the men, such as video of the cell extractions. The defense motions to dismiss the charges still must be heard before proceeding to trial.
Harassment of supporters
Supporters were finally let into the courtroom over an hour late and then in single file after having their bags rifled through and bodies searched – a ridiculous amount of security not seen in previous hearings. This, the half dozen police officers assigned to each hearing, and the whole case itself spanning now almost five years are a terrible waste of police time and taxpayers’ money. Supporters, who filled all of one side of the court and spilled over to the other side, vow to return in even greater numbers March 6.
The next hearing date is set for March 6 at 10am. The start of the trial has been scheduled for August 24, 2015. Please contact us if you can help pack the court March 6! Sign up for court attendance here.
Duane Peters’ family presents information to Times Leader reporter Ed Lewis at the newspapers’ office.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
- DONATE for legal fees
- SIGN PETITIONS: Petition to Dismiss All Charges against the Dallas 6Petition to Indict Corrupt Luzerne County officials