[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

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iu7PTDiKqmVlPwnGH1mYVrTWha9gD8VLQSTG0

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.




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