Dear Friends and supporters of Sundiata Acoli:
A New Jersey Appellate Court in September 2014 ordered the release of Sundiata, resting its decision on the eligibility requirements under the New Jersey Parole Act of 1979. The decision left us overjoyed and at the same time, cautious as the State announced it would appeal the decision and request a “Stay” of the release until the appeal was heard. The “Stay” was granted which resulted in Sundiata remaining incarcerated while awaiting a decision from a New Jersey Supreme Court.
Arguments were heard on October 13, 2015 and on February 23, 2016, the Supreme court of NJ reversed the Appellate Court’s order. The court did not rule on the merits of the Appellate case ordering release, but focused rather, on procedure. The Supreme Court held that the Appellate Court exceeded its authority in ordering release because a procedural process had not been followed- in New Jersey the full parole board has to make a decision in cases involving murder convictions. Sundiata appeared before the full board in June, 2016 and again, denied parole. An appeal will again be taken to the same Appellate Division that ordered his release.
Additionally, a certiorari petition has been filed in the United States Supreme Court and that filing involved legal fees, printing and filing costs. Please know and understand that all of your support is so much appreciated and needed as we continue to work towards Sundiata’s release. He will be 80 years old on January 14, 2017!!!
It is most respectfully requested that everyone continues to exercise discretion and discipline in not making what could be interpreted as inflammatory remarks on social media or elsewhere. I know all of us who love and support Sundiata will want no reason for a denial of parole when this case again comes before the New Jersey Appellate Court- the court that issued a strong order that Sundiata must be released in accordance with the NJ parole Act of 1979. Sundiata has continued his positive actions since that decision.
Further, do understand that as much as we would like to keep supporters and friends abreast of what is going on with the case, it is not in Sundiata’s best interest to expose each and every detail and legal strategies. We will all celebrate his freedom when he is released, but until then we will exercise restraint.
Please make checks/money orders payable to: Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign (or SAFC)
120-46 Queens Blvd.
Kew Gardens, New York 11415