[Ppnews] Mumia - May 17th oral arguments in Philadelphia
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Mar 23 08:47:11 EDT 2007
ROBERT R. BRYAN
MEMBER CALIF., NEW YORK, ALA. BAR
PAUL D. ANDERSON
2 0 8 8 UNION STREET, SUITE 4
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
94123-4117 TELEPHONE (415) 2 9 2 - 2 4 0 0
FACS l M l LE (415) 2 9 2 - 4 8 7 8
Re: Mumia Abu-Jamal v. Martin Horn, Pennsylvania Director of Corrections
U.S. Court of Appeals Nos. 0 1-90 14,02-900 1 (death penalty)
Today notification was received that oral argument in the case of my
client, Mumia Abu-Jamal, is scheduled on
Thursday, May 17, 9:30 am, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit, Ceremonial Courtroom, 1" Floor,
U.S. Courthouse, 6"' and Market Streets, Philadelphia. The NAACP
Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and
the National Lawyers Guild, which have filed amicus curiae (friend of
the court) briefs, are also participating.
This case concerns Mr. Abu-Jamal's right to a fair trial, 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 complex issues under consideration, which are of great
constitutional significance, 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
which encouraged the jury to disregard the presumption of innocence
and reasonable doubt, and err
on the side of guilt.
Whether the prosecution's use of peremptory challenges to exclude
African Americans from sitting
on the jury violated Mr. Abu-Jamal's rights to due process and equal
protection of the law under
the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, and contravened Batson v.
Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).
Whether the jury instructions and verdict form that resulted in the
death penalty deprived Mr. Abu-
Jamal of rights guaranteed by the Eight 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 the
jurors from considering any mitigating
evidence unless they all agreed on the existence of a particular circumstance.
Whether Mr. Abu-Jamal was denied due process and equal protection of
the law under the Sixth
and Fourteenth Amendments during post-conviction hearings as the
result of the bias and racism of
Judge Albert F. Sabo which included the comment that he was "going to
help'em fry the nigger".
Recently the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office sent a letter to
the court suggesting that the entire Third Circuit
should disqualify itself from deciding the case of my client. We
filed a reply strongly objecting to this absurd request,
explaining that the position of opposing counsel was "utterly
unfounded and should be rejected." On March
10 the court rebuked the prosecution, advising that it had failed to
follow proper procedure and thus no action
would be taken.
Professor Judith L. Ritter, associate counsel, and I are in this case
to win a new and fair trial for Mr. Abu-Jamal.
The goal is for our client to be free. Nevertheless, he remains in
great danger. If all is lost, he will be executed.
Your interest in this struggle for human rights and against the death
penalty is appreciated.
Yours very truly,
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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