[Ppnews] Rallies for Mumia NY, Philadelphia, LA

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jan 20 10:47:21 EST 2010


From: Free Mumia Coalition <<mailto:info at freemumia.com>info at freemumia.com>

BRINGING MUMIA ONE STEP CLOSER TO REINSTATEMENT OF DEATH PENALTY
TAKE IT TO THE STREETS!

EMERGENCY PROTESTS:

WEDNESDAY 1/20, 4-7PM AT THE HARLEM STATE OFFICE BUILDING
(125th St and 7th Ave) NEW YORK

WEDNESDAY 1/20, 4pm at the SE CORNER OF CITY HALL (Juniper St.)
PHILADELPHIA

LOS ANGELES RALLY FOR MUMIA
WEDNESDAY, 1/20 5:00PM, DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES 
FEDERAL BLDG., LOS ANGELES STREET AT TEMPLE

EMERGENCY MEETING:
FRIDAY 1/22, 6:30PM AT ST. MARY'S CHURCH
(521 W.126th St, between Amsterdam and Broadway)
-----------------

FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION–NEW YORK CITY
P.O. BOX 16, COLLEGE STATION • NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10030
Hotline: 212 330-8029 • Web Site: <http://www.freemumia.com>www.freemumia.com

For Immediate Release: January 19, 2010

Contact: Suzanne Ross (917) 584-2135
Pam Africa (215) 476-8812

PRESS CONFERENCE: 4:30 pm at Harlem State Office Building
RALLY: 4-7 pm

Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal Take to the Streets 
the “Day After” in Response to Supreme Court 
Ruling; Critical Juncture in 28-Year-Old Death Penalty Case

On January 19, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court 
tossed out a lower federal court ruling that 
nullified the death sentence hanging over 
celebrated Black political prisoner Mumia 
Abu-Jamal. The case now goes back to the U.S. 
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 
Pennsylvania to be reconsidered “in light of 
Smith v. Spisak, 558 U.S. ___ (2010).” This 
recently decided case reaffirmed the death 
penalty of a Neo-Nazi convicted of three murders. 
The only similarity to the case of Abu-Jamal was 
that Spisak had also petitioned the Supreme Court 
partly on the basis of incorrect jury instructions.

The Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (New York 
City) and other supporters of Abu-Jamal are 
calling for a rally at the Adam Clayton Powell 
Jr. State Office Building, 125th Street and Adam 
Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard in New York City, on 
Wednesday, January 20, from 4-7 p.m., to condemn 
the decision and to intensify their petition 
campaign to Attorney General Eric Holder urging a 
civil rights investigation into the case. 
Speakers at the rally include Councilman Charles 
Barron; Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director of 
the National Lawyers Guild; Nana Soul of Black 
Wax Productions and producer of On the 
MOVE–Sounds Inspired by Mumia Abu-Jamal; 
internationally recognized hip-hop artists 
Immortal Technique; Spritchild of the hip-hop 
fusion band Mental Notes; Professor Johanna 
Fernandez of Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal; and many others.

In March 2008, the Third Circuit Court affirmed 
Federal District Court Judge William Yohn’s 2001 
decision “overturning” the death sentence. Citing 
the 1988 Mills v. Maryland precedent, Judge Yohn 
had ruled that sentencing forms used by jurors 
and Judge Albert Sabo’s instructions to the jury 
were potentially confusing and that therefore 
jurors could have mistakenly believed that they 
had to unanimously agree on any mitigating 
circumstances in order to consider them as 
weighing against a death sentence. In this week’s 
rejection of that decision, supporters of 
Abu-Jamal see another example of the “Mumia 
Exception”; that is, claims that have won the day 
in other cases were repeatedly denied him.

Supporters of Abu-Jamal have argued for decades 
that he was wrongfully convicted in a deeply 
flawed trial for the 1981 killing of a 
Philadelphia police officer. They point to 
suppressed evidence, perjury, witness 
intimidation, an admittedly biased judge and a 
long string of twisted appellate court rulings as 
evidence of a continuing conspiracy by the state to execute him.

Demonstrations will be held in several cities 
across the U.S. and internationally. In 
Philadelphia, Mumia supporters will be protesting 
at the office of the new district attorney, Seth 
Williams, on the southeast side of City Hall. 
Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of murdering a 
Philadelphia police officer in 1982. His case is 
one of the most contested in U.S. history. 
Prosecutors, and the Fraternal Order of Police in 
support of them, have always claimed to possess a 
watertight case of eyewitnesses and conclusive 
evidence. Nevertheless, Abu-Jamal's trial, 
conviction, and death sentence have prompted 
jurists and human rights organizations worldwide 
to denounce the trial and death sentence as a 
travesty of justice. They cite bias in the 
original judge, a racially skewed process of jury 
selection, numerous other denials of due process, 
and prosecution and police intimidation of 
witnesses. Amnesty International advised, for 
example, that "justice would best be served by 
granting a new trial." Abu-Jamal's defense team 
identified 29 claims of violation of Abu-Jamal's 
constitutional rights, although he has been 
unable to present evidence of his innocence, 
evidence of police and prosecutorial conspiracy to frame and convict him.



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