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After 13 years in prison and four trials Hassan Bennett, defended himself and was acquitted of the 2006 West Philly murder.
It all started one night when he was on the phone with a friend. He was suppose to be on his way to see the friend when he heard gunshots. The friend told him NOT to go toward the gunshots but he did because he wanted to check on his friends. When he went to see what happened, he ran into an officer that he had previous run-ins with and that was the beginning of a long history with the court system
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Do you regret going toward the gun shots?
That’s not who I am. If I think my friends are in danger, to turn my back the other way, I’m not going to be a friend.
How did you keep your sanity the last 13 years of your life in jail?
Dedicated. Dedicated to getting out of jail. Read a lot of books. Read a lot of case law. Mumia Abu-Jamal We Want Freedom, Mumia Abu-Jamal Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners V. the U.S.A. Michelle Alexander The New Jim Crow, I read everything I could get my hands on.
It was interesting that much like Raheem Shackelford who we interviewed, who spent 21 years in jail before being released, Hassan also had a court appointed attorney who didn’t do much of anything for his case. He sat for three years with the court appointed attorney who did nothing, before taking matters into his own hands and representing himself.
Hassan is now working on taking the bar.
He would like the family that lost their loved to know
I have nothing but respect for the family but I think they are ignoring the evidence. They are doing exactly what the prosecution wants them to do. To the prosecution this is a job. It’s wins and losses