[Ppnews] Zolo Azania and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat Jul 1 09:54:53 EDT 2006
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 13:13:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ben Evans <ben_c_evans at yahoo.com>
Zolo Agona Azania and Mumia Abu-Jamal are both Black
activists who have been resisting a death sentence
from their prison cells for the past quarter century;
Mumia in Pennsyvania and Zolo in Indiana. Both were
known as activists before their incarceration. Both
were found guilty of killing a white police officer
and were sentenced to death. Both have remained
steadfast in their commitment to the struggle for
human liberation and adamant in asserting their
Mumia's lead counsel, Attorney Robert R. Bryan of San
Francisco, writes: "Mumia remains on Pennsylvania's
death row and is in great danger. He is a powerful
symbol, the 'voice of the voiceless,' in the
international campaign against the death penalty & for
human rights. Our goal is to see that the many wrongs
that have occurred in this case are righted and that
this courageous man is freed."
Attorney Bryan has explained that the court's decision
last December was "the most important since Mumia's
1981 arrest," because for the first time there was a
ruling that could lead to a new trial and to Mumia's
freedom. Attorney Bryan's opening brief on behalf of
Mumia is due to be filed in the U.S. District Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit on July 13, 2006. That
brief will address issues of great significance
concerning Mumia's right to a fair trial and to due
process of law, his right not to be subjected to cruel
and unusual punishment, and his right to equal
protection of the law guaranteed under the U.S.
Constitution. The National Lawyers Guild, and the
NAACP will be filing separate amicus curiae (friend of
the court) briefs.
For more info, see:
On June 27, 2006 Zolo Agona Azania's lead counsel,
Michael Deutsch of the People's Law Office in Chicago,
argued to the Indiana Supreme Court that they should
uphold the May 2005 order by an Indiana superior court
barring prosecutors from seeking the death a third
time, after prosecutors illegally withheld evidence
and the Indiana computer system used to select
potential jurors was found to have systematically
excluded Black people.
Last Tuesday prosecutors asked the court to allow them
to seek the death penalty against Zolo Azania for a
third time despite the fact that so many years have
passed since Zolo's 1982 conviction. One assistant
district attorney told reporters after the hearing
that unless prosecutors are able to seek and get a
third death sentence, credits for good time served
could make Zolo Azania eligible for release in about
five years. Justice Frank Sullivan suggested that a
due process limit might be needed to determine how
many times the state has to get it right in a death
Anti-death penalty activists report that the defense
side of the courtroom was packed with Zolo's
supporters, including activists from the Duneland
Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and members of
the Indiana Legislature's Black Caucus, so some of
Zolo supporters had to sit on the prosecution side.
There was a fairly large police presence, many in
uniforms with black bands over their badges. Zolo's
supporters however had been asked to remove the peel
and stick Zs they had been given by the No Death
Penalty for Zolo Committee, which also organized a
caravan of supporters from Chicago.
You can watch a video of Zolo's lawyer's arguments at:
For more info, see:
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!
Free Zolo Agona Azania!
Abolish the racist death penalty!
Free all political prisoners
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