US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC : http://boston.indymedia.org/
Boston.Indymedia
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Testimonies
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
News :: Human Rights : Organizing : Politics : Race
Judge plans to reject new hearing for Mumia
14 Jun 2005
Modified: 01:25:04 PM
The Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas released a 18-page document on May 27 stating its intent to dismiss a legal motion filed by lawyers representing death-row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal for a new Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) hearing. The request for a PCRA hearing was originally made on Dec. 8, 2003.
mumiaco2.jpg
Latest legal outrage:
Judge plans to reject new hearing for Mumia

By Monica Moorehead
Published Jun 13, 2005 9:12 PM

The Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas released a 18-page document on May 27 stating its intent to dismiss a legal motion filed by lawyers representing death-row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal for a new Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) hearing. The request for a PCRA hearing was originally made on Dec. 8, 2003.

This state appeals court has given Abu-Jamal's lawyers until June 16 to file a "reconsideration" legal brief challenging its May 27 response. If the Abu-Jamal June 16 "reconsideration" petition is also rejected, his lawyers plan to appeal to the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court.

The request for a PCRA hearing stems from the fact that Mumia Abu-Jamal was falsely convicted in 1982 in a sham trial for the shooting-death of a white police officer, Daniel Faulkner, on Dec. 9, 1981. The trial was severely tainted by a conspiracy to suppress evidence that would substantiate Abu-Jamal's innocence, as well as the outright political demonization of Abu-Jamal by the prosecutor. Twenty-nine constitutional rights violations have been documented during a trial that culminated in a predominantly white jury sentencing Abu-Jamal to death.

Back in December 2001, Federal District Judge William Yohn overturned Abu-Jamal's sentence of death but not the first-degree murder conviction. Yohn cited one of the constitutional rights violations in his ruling.

Abu-Jamal's attorneys appealed Yohn’s ruling, stating that spending the rest of his life in prison was unacceptable. Life imprisonment was the only other option Yohn raised in his ruling. The Philadelphia district attorney's office also appealed the Yohn ruling, hoping to bring back the death penalty for Abu-Jamal.

Abu-Jamal still sits on death row in the SCI-Greene prison unit.

Philly cops targeted Abu-Jamal

It is no secret that the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) had been targeting Abu-Jamal--an African-American journalist, former Black Panther and MOVE supporter--for his outspoken writings on the rampant police brutality that tarnished the image of the "city of brotherly love," especially during the 1970s under Mayor Frank Rizzo's regime.

The judge during Abu-Jamal's original trial, Albert Sabo, was a racist and a card-carrying member of the FOP. He was overheard by a white stenographer, Terri Maurer-Carter, stating in regard to Abu-Jamal that he was going to "help fry the n----r."

Judge Pamela Dembe, who wrote the May 27 ruling, also stated in her intent to dismiss Abu-Jamal's request for a hearing that even if Sabo had actually made the racist comment against Abu-Jamal raised by Carter in her deposition, it did not prove that his decisions were affected by this expressed intention. How outrageous!

At PCRA hearings in 1982 and 1996, the defense attempted to present suppressed evidence of witnesses who were coerced into lying on the stand against Abu-Jamal during the original trial, and to allow their testimony to finally be heard. The goal of a PCRA hearing is to lead to a new and fair trial to finally win the freedom of Abu-Jamal.

What Judge Dembe has done in the May 27 ruling is attempt to uphold every unjust ruling that came down under Sabo. Every legal argument Abu-Jamal's lawyers made that points to his innocence was declared "untimely" by Dembe. The main argument Dembe made against the Dec. 8, 2003, legal brief was based on violation of time guidelines.

Such guidelines stem from the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which upholds state rulings and closes off the re-examination of any evidence of innocence where prisoners' appeals are concerned. Bill Clinton signed this act into law in 1996.This latest legal development is one in a long list of legal setbacks within the political struggle to free Mumia Abu-Jamal. The legal dismissals that have occurred in the state and federal courts masked the real objectives of the U.S. government: to silence Abu-Jamal's revolutionary voice with the death penalty or life in prison.

Abu-Jamal has faced two death warrants. Both ended in a stay of execution due to mass pressure inside the U.S. and worldwide.

International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal and their supporters have called for a day of emergency protest and outreach on June 16 in Philadelphia to expose this latest legal injustice. For more information, call ICFFMAJ at (215) 476-8812 or visit millions4mumia.org on the web.

This article is copyright under a Creative Commons License.
Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Email: ww (at) workers.org
Subscribe wwnews-subscribe (at) workersworld.net
Support independent news http://www.workers.org/orders/donate.php
See also:
http://www.millions4mumia.org/
http://www.workers.org/

This work licensed under a
Creative Commons license
Add a quick comment
Title
Your name Your email

Comment

Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.