Sunday, September 04, 2016

William Kunstler (July 17, 1919 - September 4, 1995)

William Kunstler at New York City rally protesting the carnage at Attica that led to the deaths of 29 inmates and 10 hostages killed by corrections officers and state troopers (recalling with James Forman, Jr., that ‘[t]he most sadistic crimes took place after state officials had full control of the prison’).

Today is the 21st anniversary of the death of William Kunstler (July 17, 1919 - September 4, 1995), the indefatigable Left-activist (‘cause’) lawyer and WW II U.S. Army veteran. Here is his Wikipedia entry, which is tolerable, all things considered, although it fails to mention that Kunstler was among those asked to negotiate on behalf of the rebelling inmates at Attica Correctional Facility, September 9 -13, 1971. Kunstler’s efforts on behalf of the prisoners in D-yard is discussed in Tom Wicker’s (also invited by the prisoners to assist in negotiations and a member of the ‘Observers Committee’) A Time to Die: The Attica Prison Revolt (Haymarket Books, 2011; originally published by Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co., 1975) and Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy (Pantheon Books, 2016). Kunstler also represented one of the “Central Park Five” defendants, all of whom had their convictions vacated by New York Supreme Court Justice Charles J. Tejada on December 19, 2002 (they had completed their prison sentences at the time of Tejada's order). 

In 2009, two of his four daughters, Emily and Sarah Kunstler, completed a documentary about their late father, William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe.


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