Remiro Busted on Phony Escape Charge

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Fifth Estate # 284, July, 1977

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The State of California has concocted another frame-up charge against imprisoned ex-SLA member Joseph Remiro. Already serving two life terms for murder and jail break, Joe is accused this time of plotting an escape attempt from Folsom Prison with two other prisoners.

The alleged plot came to light last June 4 (although no report was released on it until June 22) after a former associate of Remiro, Bobby Davis, handed a 9-mm pistol and 27 rounds of ammunition over to prison authorities and implicated Remiro in the alleged escape attempt.

Davis is serving a life term for killing four California Highway Patrol Officers, and Remiro, with Russell Little, who is in another prison, is doing life for allegedly assassinating Oakland, California School Superintendent Marcus Foster in 1973 and for an attempted escape from the Alameda County Jail in which two deputies were wounded.

In a letter to the Fifth Estate, dated June 29, Remiro denied being involved in any escape plot and said he had just been released into the general prison population after three years of being locked-down in solitary confinement ‘and nine months of being a “model prisoner.”

A search of the prison after Davis surrendered the gun and ammunition turned up 17 prison-made knives, including in his cell what Remiro called “a curious metal object that these people insist on calling a knife.” Remiro has continually had his life threatened by prison guards and members of the white-racist inmate grouping, the Aryan Brotherhood.

Remiro reports that Davis told prison officials that the plan involved the two of them and another inmate killing members of the Aryan Brotherhood, six guards and then escaping. Remiro told the Fifth Estate, “Of course, these people went crazy. Shotgun escort and a naked walk to the ‘hole.'”

Folsom Prison officials say they are “baffled” as to how the gun got into the prison, the first one ever discovered in the maximum security penitentiary. Guns in the past have been planted on political prisoners, such as George Jackson who was murdered by prison guards, to set them up for executions or to bring additional charges down on them.

Remiro says he thinks the charges against him are weak and probably will not reach a civilian court. The incident will be handled as an infraction of prison rules and “we’ll be found guilty by a jury of our accusers and keepers.” Remiro plans to challenge this. “Don’t think that any of us have resigned ourselves to this—we have plans to push this into court or at least raise hell trying.”

Joe and Russ Little are victims of the official hysteria over the SLA and are innocent of the murder charges they are sentenced to life for. They deserve our support and assistance.

Protests against Remiro’s treatment should be lodged with Assistant Deputy Corrections Director George Warner, Folsom Prison, Represa (that’s right), California 95671.

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