WASHINGTON – Leonard Weinglass, a lawyer who gained notoriety representing US left-wing activists including the Chicago Seven and Pentagon Papers defendant Daniel Ellsberg, has died at 78, his law associate said Thursday.
Weinglass, who recently worked with the defense team for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, died in his sleep Wednesday after battling pancreatic cancer in New York, his associate Michael Krinsky told AFP.
Weinglass came into the spotlight in the Chicago Conspiracy Trial in which eight activists were accused of inciting a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
After Black Panther activist Bobby Seale was severed from the case, the group became known as the Chicago Seven, and included anti-war activists Abbie Hoffman and Tom Hayden.
Weinglass later represented Ellsberg, who was accused of leaking classified documents about the Vietnam War which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers.
Until his illness incapacitated him, Weinglass continued to work on controversial legal cases, and earlier this month filed a brief in the case of the Cuban Five — five Cubans convicted of spying for Havana in the United States.
He also defended Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther activist convicted and sentenced to death in the murder of a Philadelphia police officer, a case that has drawn international attention over the fairness of the US justice system.
Weinglass, a former US Air Force judge advocate, graduated from Yale law school and was of counsel at the New York firm Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky and Lieberman.