From the viewpoint of the prison authorities, who virulently hated Jackson and even regarded him as the killer of the Soledad guard, there was no reason to murder him (unless one accepts the highly implausible "escape theory" presented by the prosecution in the SQ6 trial) if the courts could be counted on to send him to the gas chamber.
The prison movement was always too romantic," observed Charles Garry, the radical attorney who defended many of that movement's heroes and martyrs, and who represented Johnny Larry Spain in the SQ6 case.
Cathy Kornblith, a legal investigator for the SQ6 who has spent many years working with prisoners, agreed that the romanticization of prisoners was one of the problems of the prisoner-support movement.
At the time of the indictment of the SQ6 on charges of conspiring with Jackson to escape and kill guards and other inmates, a number of people around the country and around the world were intensely aware of the failures of the US prison system.
Even now, when different people involved in the legal or political defense of the SQ6 are asked what the case was all about, or what its historical significance is, various answers are given:
Although the verdicts clearly prohibit the supporters of the SQ6 from concluding that the jury had concurred with their analysis of the prison system, or their contention that Jackson had been the victim of a political murder, neither is there clear-cut support for District Attorney (DA) Jerry Herman's statements that the jury's decision was a vindication of the prosecution position.