[Ppnews] Mumia Abu-Jamal - Legal Update

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Sep 4 08:30:38 EDT 2006

From: <mailto:RobertRBryan at aol.com>RobertRBryan at aol.com
Date: September 3, 2006 2:08:56 PM PDT
To: m(<mailto:JackHeyman at comcast.net>JackHeyman at comcast.net)
Subject: Mumia Abu-Jamal - Legal Update [Please Circulate]

Dear Friends:

On October 4, 2006, our Reply Brief in response to the briefs 
submitted by the district attorney will be filed on behalf of Mumia 
Abu-Jamal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third 
Circuit, Philadelphia.  This is pursuant to a September 1 court order.

We continue to aggressively pursue relief for Mr. Abu-Jamal.  On July 
20, Professor Judith L. Ritter, associate counsel, and I filed a 
lengthy opening brief supported by voluminous exhibits.  A week later 
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., through Christine 
Swarns filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief.  A 
separate amicus curiae brief was filed for the National Lawyers Guild 
by Jill Soffiyah Elijah of the Harvard Law School, Professor Zachary 
Wolfe of George Washington University Law School, and Heidi 
Boghosian, its Executive Director.  They were joined by the National 
Conference of Black Lawyers, International Association of Democratic 
Lawyers, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice of 
Harvard Law School, Southern Center for Human Rights, and the 
National Jury Project.  These amicus briefs greatly strengthen our 
quest to protect the constitutional rights of Mr. Abu-Jamal and 
secure a reversal.

This case concerns my client's right to a fair trial, and the 
struggle against the death penalty and the political repression of an 
outspoken journalist.  Racism and politics are threads that have run 
through this case since his 1981 arrest. The issues under 
consideration by the court are complex and of great significance 
under the United States Constitution, include:
    * Whether  Mr. Abu-Jamal was denied the right to due process of 
law and a fair trial under the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments 
because of the prosecutor's "appeal after appeal" argument that 
called upon the jurors to disregard the right to the presumption of 
innocence and reasonable doubt, and err on the side of guilt.
    * Whether the prosecutor's use of peremptory challenges to 
exclude African Americans from sitting on the jury violated Mr. 
Abu-Jamal's right to due process and equal protection of the law 
under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments and contravened the 
prohibition against racism in jury selection held in Batson v. 
Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).
    * Whether the verdict form and jury instructions that resulted in 
the death penalty deprived Mr. Abu-Jamal of rights guaranteed by the 
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to due process of law, equal 
protection of the law, and not to be subjected to cruel and unusual 
punishment, and violated Mills v. Maryland, 486 U.S. 367 (1988), 
since the judge precluded jurors from considering any mitigating 
evidence unless they all agreed on the existence of a particular 
special circumstance.
    * Whether Mr. Abu-Jamal was denied due process and equal 
protection of the law under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments 
during post-conviction proceedings as a result of the bias of Judge 
Albert F. Sabo which included the statement that he was going to 
"help'em fry the nigger".
The case continues to move rapidly.  Once the briefing phase is 
complete, we will present oral argument before a three-judge panel in 
the U.S. Court of Appeals.  I will notify you when a date is eventually set.

Our purpose is to win this life-and-death struggle, gain a new and 
fair trial, and see our client walk out of jail a free 
person.  However, Mr. Abu-Jamal remains in great danger.  If the case 
is lost, he will be executed.

Thank you for your concern and support in this campaign for justice.

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan
Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123

Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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