[Ppnews] Granma - Cuba: Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Death Penalty
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Oct 31 11:19:38 EDT 2008
October 30, 2008
Mumia Abu Jamal and the Death Penalty
Right now were at a crossroads in the case. His
life is at stake, says Robert Bryan the primary
lawyer of the renowned African-American journalist.
DEISY FRANCIS MEXIDOR
<mailto:Francis_mexidor at granma.cip.cu>Francis_mexidor at granma.cip.cu
Death row in Pennsylvania has twice as many black
people as whites, something that doesnt reflect
the demographic composition of that US state. The
228 convicts spend 23 hours a day in small
solitary cells. They must wear shackles outside
their cells, even in the showers. Philadelphia is
the leader of the death penalty business.
African-American journalist Mumia Abu Jamal,
perhaps the most well known prisoner of the 3,500
sentenced to death and languishing in US jails
notes, Many cases that would be considered third
degree or even volunteer manslaughter, or not
guilty in other counties, become first degree
murder or death penalty cases in Philly. He says
that this is so because the entire political
system of the city was constituted around the death penalty.
His defense seeks to get the US Supreme Court to
annul the murder conviction ruled in 1982. It has
been clearly demonstrated that the projectiles
that killed police officer Daniel Faulkner in
1981 didnt come from Abu Jamals weapon. He was
accused because of the color of his skin and with the manipulation of facts.
In 2001, the Judge revoked the death sentence.
His ruling was backed by the Third Circuit Court
of Appeals in March this year. However, an
announcement has been made that the District
Attorneys Office managed to re-impose the death
penalty on Mumia. Another ingredient added to the
long list of irregularities and arbitrariness committed in the case.
A few days ago, Mumias defense lawyer, Robert R.
Bryan, wrote a legal update that was published on
the Internet. More activism and support is
needed in the campaign to free Mumia from the
death penalty and prison. It is an affront to
civilized standards and international law that he
remains in prison and on death row. We must have
hope and fight for justice," he said.
The defense has until December 19 to present its
arguments in opposition to the current decision.
Mumia, for his part, explains that Its
profoundly unfair at its very foundation. If you
pick a jury that is fundamentally unfair, you can
only get a fundamentally unfair result." He also
alerts: "There are many people who because of
what they read in the paper firmly believe I am
no longer on death row. I have read articles to
that effect. Unfortunately, those articles are
misleading. I have never left death row for one day. I am on death row."
Thats justice, made in the USA.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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