Russell Melvin Shoats
Russell Maroon Shoatz
August 23, 1943 (age 75)
|Other names||Maroon, Russell Maroon Shoatz, The Implacable|
Russell "Maroon" Shoatz (born August 23, 1943) is a founding member of the Black Unity Council, former member of the Black Panther Party, a "soldier" in the Black Liberation Army, and convicted murderer.
Shoats was convicted of murdering a police officer in Pennsylvania and was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. On February 20, 2014, Shoatz was returned to the prison's general population after being held in solitary confinement for over 22 consecutive years.
The most recent dismissal of his legal counsel's appeal for his return to the regular prison population highlights the fulcrum of the controversy:
In the volatile atmosphere of a prison, an inmate easily may constitute an unacceptable threat to the safety of other prisoners and guards even if he himself has committed no misconduct; rumor, reputation, and even more imponderable factors may suffice to spark potentially disastrous incidents. The judgment of prison officials in this context, like that of those making parole decisions, turns largely on purely subjective evaluations and on predictions of future behavior.
On May 8, 2013, Shoats filed a lawsuit to end the conditions of isolation in his 7-by-12 foot cell, always illuminated by lights, for 23–24 hours per day.
- "Liberation or Gangsterism: Freedom or Slavery" (see )
- Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz (see )
- Shoatz, Teresa. "About: Russell Maroon Shoats". Free Russell Maroon Shoats! U.S. Prisoner of War. International Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoats. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- "MEDIA RELEASE: Russell Maroon Shoatz released from solitary confinement – first time in general population in more than 22 years". Abolitionist Law Center. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
- "UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT No. 99-3603 RUSSELL SHOATS,Appellant v. MARTIN HORN, in his official capacity as the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections; PHILIP JOHNSON, in his official capacity as Superintendent of the State Correctional Institution at Greene". May 23, 2000. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
- Tim Phillips, "Russell Maroon Shoatz Files Lawsuit Demanding an End to Solitary Confinement", ActivistDefense.wordpress.com, May 11, 2013.
- Jacob Miller. "Liberation or Gangsterism: Freedom or Slavery – By Russell Maroon Shoatz « Free Maroon!". Utmaroonformation.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
- Russell Maroon Shoatz; Quincy Saul; Fred Ho; Matt Meyer; Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge; Chuck D. "Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz". Amazon.com. ISBN 9781604860597. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
- Russell Shoats, Appellant v. Martin Horn; Philip Johnson, vls.law.vill.edu; accessed April 12, 2016.