The following announcement is from the Justice for Jason Committee. An earlier Oread Daily article about what is happening to Jason Vassell can be found at http://oreaddaily.blogspot.com/search?q=MacKimmie.
Save the date & ask for time off work…
Pre-Trial Hearing for Jason Vassell
Thurs. 7/24/08, 2pm
Hampshire Superior Court (15 Gothic Street,
For info about carpools from the Boston area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This will be an important pre trial hearing for Jason Vassell (pictured here), and it will provide an opportunity for opposing counsel to come up with a roadmap for how Jason’s case will be tried. Jason’s lawyers will be asking the Commonwealth to provide certain evidence and will agree to turn over other evidence that may come into our possession. At the present time, it is unclear who will be prosecuting Jason’s case as the Assistant District Attorney who was assigned to it has left or is about to leave the District Attorney’s office. The physical presence of friends, family members, and other supporters would be greatly appreciated!!
Background: On Sunday, February 3, 2008, two white men—not university students—appeared at the window of the dormitory room of Jason Vassell, a twenty-three year old African American student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The two men subjected Vassell to racial invective and threats of violence. They kicked in Vassell’s window and later gained access to an outer vestibule of the dorm, where they attacked Vassell, breaking his nose and causing a serious concussion. The injured Vassell, defending himself with a small pocketknife, wounded his assailants.
At present, caught up in a protracted and costly legal process, Jason Vassell—an otherwise decent, gentle, young black man and law-abiding citizen described by his professors as a serious, respectful, and diligent student—finds himself in a Kafkesque nightmare. Removed from school he faces two charges that could, if the prosecution succeeds, subject him to 30 years in state prison.
If you haven’t yet done so, please sign the petition calling for the charges again Jason to be reconsidered: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justiceforjason/ .
To contribute to Jason’s defense, you may write a check to Esmie James, Mr. Vassell’s mother.
Mail checks to “Justice for Jason,” PO Box 197, Amherst MA 01004