The Nation: Death in San Quentin

IN his book Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson, the author repeatedly prophesied that he would not leave the California prison system alive. Last week the grim prediction came true. In one of the bloodiest prison upheavals in recent years, Jackson—robber, author, radical hero, self-styled revolutionary—was killed while attempting to escape from the California State Prison at San Quentin. With him died three prison guards and two fellow inmates.

The bloodletting lasted only a few tragic minutes, but it is as surrounded with controversy as was Jackson himself. According to prison...

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