U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Last Man Standing: The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt

NCJ Number
Jack Olsen
Date Published
508 pages
This is a biography of Elmer Gerard "Geronimo" Pratt, a member of the Black Panther Party who was unjustly imprisoned, and his quest for justice.
In 1968, 27-year-old Geronimo Pratt, a decorated Vietnam veteran, enrolled at UCLA and subsequently became active in activities of the Black Panther Party. An FBI informer within the party testified that Pratt had murdered a young woman, and Pratt was imprisoned in San Quentin, spending 8 years in solitary confinement. Pratt had been thrown out of the Black Panthers, had no family in the area and was virtually forgotten when a young law student, Stuart Hanlon, took an interest in his case. The book reviews Pratt's family life and early years in Morgan City, LA, his years in the U.S. Army, his work with the Black Panther Party, and events leading up to his imprisonment. However, the major part of the book follows the efforts of Hanlon, defense attorney Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., Protestant minister Rev. James McCloskey and Pratt himself as they worked to obtain Pratt's release and rectification of his unjust imprisonment. In April 2000, Geronimo Pratt's lawsuit for false imprisonment and violation of civil rights was settled out of court. The City of Los Angeles agreed to pay $2,750,000; the FBI paid $1,750,000. Notes, index