[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 we’re at a crossroads in the case. His 
life is at stake,” says Robert Bryan the primary 
lawyer of the renowned African-American journalist.

<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 doesn’t 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 didn’t come from Abu Jamal’s 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 
Attorney’s 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, Mumia’s 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 “It’s 
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."

That’s justice, made in the USA.

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