Leo Branton Jr., Activists’ Lawyer, Dies at 91

Posted in Articles, Biography, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2013-05-01 04:56Z by Steven

Leo Branton Jr., Activists’ Lawyer, Dies at 91

The New York Times

William Yardley

Associated Press
Leo Branton Jr. with Angela Davis during her 1972 trial on murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges. She was acquitted.

Leo Branton Jr., a California lawyer whose moving closing argument in a racially and politically charged murder trial in 1972 helped persuade an all-white jury to acquit a black communist, the activist and academic Angela Davis, died on April 19 in Los Angeles. He was 91.

His death was confirmed by Howard Moore Jr., another lawyer who represented Ms. Davis.

Mr. Branton, a black veteran of World War II who served in a segregated Army unit, represented prominent black performers, including Nat King Cole and Dorothy Dandridge, argued cases on behalf of the Black Panthers and the Communist Party, and filed numerous cases alleging police abuse. But the case with which he was most closely associated was that of Ms. Davis…

Read the entire obituary here.

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