[Ppnews] Court of Appeals says Abu-Jamal's conviction should stand, but he should get a new sentencing hearing
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 27 12:56:22 EDT 2008
Court: Mumia Deserves New Hearing
By KATHY MATHESON 2 hours ago
PHILADELPHIA (AP) A federal appeals court on
Thursday said former Black Panther Mumia
Abu-Jamal cannot be executed for murdering a
Philadelphia police officer without a new penalty hearing.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said
Abu-Jamal's conviction should stand, but that he
should get a new sentencing hearing because of
flawed jury instructions. If prosecutors don't
want to give him a new death penalty hearing,
Abu-Jamal would be sentenced automatically to life in prison.
Abu-Jamal, 53, once a radio reporter, has
attracted a legion of artists and activists to
his cause in a quarter-century on death row. A
Philadelphia jury convicted him in 1982 of
killing Officer Daniel Faulkner, 25, after the
patrolman pulled over Abu-Jamal's brother in an overnight traffic stop.
He had appealed, arguing that racism by the judge
and prosecutors corrupted his conviction at the
hands of a mostly white jury. Prosecutors,
meanwhile, had appealed a federal judge's 2001
decision to grant Abu-Jamal a new sentencing
hearing because of the jury instructions.
Hundreds of people protested outside the federal
building in Philadelphia in May and an overflow
crowd including legal scholars, students,
lawyers, the policeman's widow and Abu-Jamal's
brother filled the courtroom when the appeals
court heard arguments about the case.
The officer's widow, Maureen Faulkner, has kept
her husband's memory alive over the years, and
recently co-wrote a book about the case. The
book, "Murdered by Mumia: A Life Sentence of
Loss, Pain and Injustice," written with radio
talk-show host Michael Smerconish, came out in December.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon
for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) A federal appeals court has
ordered a new penalty hearing for celebrity death
row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal (moo-MEE'-ah AH'-boo jah-MAHL').
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says
Abu-Jamal's conviction for the 1981 murder of a
Philadelphia police officer should stand. But it
says he should get a new sentencing hearing
because of flawed jury instructions.
If prosecutors don't want to give him a new death
penalty hearing, Abu-Jamal would be sentenced automatically to life in prison.
A Philadelphia jury convicted Abu-Jamal of
killing Officer Daniel Faulkner after the
patrolman pulled over Abu-Jamal's brother in an
overnight traffic stop 27 years ago.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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