Like many of his colleagues in the Law's Hall of Shame, certain elements of Huey Percy Newton, taken in isolation, would place more within the criteria of the Law's Hall of Fame.

Newton was born on February 17, 1942 in New Orleans. According to West's Encyclopedia of American Law, his father had been "once nearly lynched for talking back to his white boss".

Relocated to Oakland, California, Newton's first brush with the law came at 14 when he was found with a firearm. He was suspended 30 times from grade school. Jackie Jones of blackamericaweb.com wrote:

"Huey P. Newton, co-founder and minister of defense of the Black Panther Party, symbolized the best and the worst that the party had to offer. As a teenager, he was arrested several times for minor offenses and supported himself in college by burglarizing homes."

Nonetheless, he entered the San Fransisco School of Law where he met Bobby Seale and together, they formed the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. This was a response to Malcolm X's plea to African-Americans to arm themselves against police brutality. Newton once said:

"The only reason why I started studying the law in the first place was so that I could become a better burglar."

But Newton never finished law school and never got his law degree. Instead, he was taken by the Black Panther movement, When the group actually started to patrol the street and obstruct justice where they felt a black person was being mishandled, the state government proposed a law banning handguns in cities. In May 1967, Newton and other Black panthers stormed into the state legislature in Sacramento, armed, to protest the law.

On October 28, 1967, the excitable and principled Newton got into a scuffle with traffic police when he was pulled over. Although Newton was shot in the stomach in the ensuing gun battle, his firearm killed one policeman and injured another. Serious errors in his first trial, and hing juries at the conclusion of trial #2 and #3 resulted in his ultimate acquittal in 1972.

But throughout, Newton had spent five years in prison. When he was released the Black Panther movement was disintegrating in the midst of a disagreement on militancy.

In 1974, new charges were brought against Newton; this time for the murder of a seventeen year old girl. Newton chose to run and he resurfaced as a fugitive from American justice in Cuba. Three years later, he returned and faced two attempts by the district attorney to secure a conviction, again resulting in hung juries. Newton was once again a free man.

But not for long. In 1978, he was charged with possession of a handgun, a felony since he was a convicted felon. he was found guilty in 1979 and yet soon after, managed to complete his doctorate at the University of Santa Cruz on the subject of his Black Panthers experience.

He was in and out of prison and the courtroom, not as a lawyer but as an accused, a defendant. More weapon charges followed as did narcotic-related and fraud charges.

On August 22, 1984, Oakland Police responded to a shooting on 9th Street in West Oakland and fond the body of Huey Newton. he had been killed for no apparent reason by a 24-year old, black drug dealer. Newton was only 47.

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