Branton went as far as to submit a drawing of Angela Davis in chains to the jurors, to appeal to their emotions. He drew tears from several jurors. Although the defense had prepared during jury selection with a psychologist and experts, they could not hold up against Leo Branton’s years of fighting police brutality cases and work in civil rights.
The headline of the New York Times on June 5, 1972 read, “Angela Davis Found Not Guilty by White Jury on All Charges.”
Leo Branton, Jr. passed away on April 19, 2013 in Los Angeles. He was 91 years old.
On April 5, 2013, “Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners” was released in select theaters nationwide. The film recalls Davis’ life as a political prisoner and the trial of which Leo Branton led her quest for freedom as counsel in the landmark trial.