N.J. may renew effort to extradite fugitive Joanne Chesimard
Three decades after convicted cop killer Joanne Chesimard's escape from prison, New Jersey is making a renewed effort to extradite her from Cuba, Attorney General Anne Milgram said today.
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#1 May 18, 2009
Assata Chesimard was convicted of killing a cop in the infamous Shootout on the Pike back in 1973. I am not sure that the conviction was proper (that it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that she was THE killer). However, I think she was at least an accomplice to murder (she was a member of an organization dedicated to "armed revolution", she was freed from jail by the illegal actions of an organized group, she had been wanted in other cop killings, or at least questioned about other group members' activities in those killings. I think of her as a villain and as a sort of dark hero. A villain, because she killed people; a villain, because she was in a group that killed policemen, a villain, too, because she was one of the characters involved in plunging the US into a period of "malaise". A dark hero, however, because she fled from adversity and managed to reach a safe harbor, and a dark hero in other ways, too (she aimed to change the world, after all, a common activist goal). Assata Chesimard's mistake (or, at least, her group's mistake) was to use violence to get her way. And that is what's unacceptable.
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