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San Quentin Six

San Quentin Six Cause Button Museum
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San Quentin Six button back Cause Button Museum
San Quentin Six
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An illustration of six handcuffed hands raised as fists with black text on a yellow background. 

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On August 21, 1971 six prisoners attempted an escape from the San Quentin penitentiary, located north of San Francisco, California. The attempt resulted in a riot and the death of 6 people. The San Quentin Six were made up of Fleeta Drumgo, David Johnson, Hugo Pinell, Johnny Spain, Luis Talamantez and Willie Tate. Supposedly the escape took place after George Jackson’s attorney Stephen Bingham smuggled him in a handgun in a briefcase. The trial for the six inmates lasted sixteen months and was called “The Longest Trial” by Time magazine. Of the six inmates that were involved in the escape attempt, three were acquitted and the other three were charged. According to the Miami News, October 17, 1980, the Supreme Court rules that John Larry Spain and Hugo Pinell “drew additional life terms” and Johnson was granted probation. Pinell and Spain were both convicted of murder while Johnson was convicted of assault. 

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