A nine-member panel of the California Board of Prison Terms has granted parole to former Black Panther leader John Spain for a murder he committed in 1966 when he was 17. Spain, 40, has been free for two years because of court orders. The board affirmed a decision issued last month by a three-member parole panel. The panel noted that Spain has been law-abiding since his release in 1988, has worked steadily, has lectured at universities and has gotten married. The panel also noted that its options were limited because a federal court barred it from considering Spain's 1976 murder conviction--since overturned--for the 1971 San Quentin prison riot that resulted in the deaths of three correctional officers and three inmates, including revolutionary George Jackson.
From Times staff and Wire reports
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