Harold Haley

Harold Haley

Harold Haley (November 14, 1904August 7, 1970) was a judge in Marin County, California. He was abducted during the course of a trial, and murdered during the attempted escape of his abductors.

On August 7, 1970, Jonathan Jackson brought guns into Judge Haley's courtroom, where San Quentin inmate James McClain was on trial. McClain was freed along with two other San Quentin inmates, Ruchell Magee and William Christmas, who present at the trial as witnesses. Jackson and the prisoners took Haley and four other people hostage and attempted to escape.

Haley, Jackson, McClain and Christmas were killed as the abductors attempted to drive away from the courthouse. Haley was apparently hit by fire from a sawed-off shotgun that had been fastened to his neck with adhesive tape by the abductors. Two of the other hostages were wounded.cite web |author= |url=http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,909547-1,00.html |title=Justice: A Bad Week for the Good Guys |accessdate=2008-06-04 |date=August 1970 |publisher=TIME]

Photographs of the event were taken by news photographers Jim Kean and Roger Bockrath.cite web |url=http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/gizmo/roger.html |title=Photographer plays a small part in radical history |author=Elisabeth Sherwin |accessdate=2008-06-04 |date=January 1997 |publisher=] The best-known photograph by Bockrath shows McClain leading out the hostages, pointing a revolver at police with his right hand while holding a shotgun taped around Haley's neck with his left hand.

The police investigation determined that the shotgun used had been owned by Angela Davis. Charges were brought against Davis and Magee, the sole survivor among the abductors. The case was appealed during trial in "Magee v. Superior Court" (34 Cal. App.3d 201) (1973) on the issue of permitting former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark to join the defense team. Davis was acquitted while Magee was convicted for Haley's kidnapping and murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, which he is serving in Corcoran State Prison.

Further information

*"Courthouses of California: An Illustrated History" edited by Ray McDevitt (ISBN 1-890771-49-X) includes photographs of Judge Haley and others being held at gunpoint during their abduction.
*"The Road to Hell" (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1996) by Paul Liberatore includes photographs and an account of the incident.


External links

* [http://www.carrow.com/San-Quentin-Six2.html San Quentin Trials] (Accessed 17 October 2005)
* [http://online.ceb.com/calcases/C3/8C3d949.htm Text of decision in "Magee v. Superior Court"]

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