[Ppnews] Correction - NAACP's LDF Joins Mumia Abu-Jamal Defense Team

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Feb 7 17:09:27 EST 2011

LDF Joins Mumia Abu-Jamal Defense Team

NEW YORK, Feb. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

On January 28, 2011, Mumia Abu-Jamal retained the NAACP Legal Defense 
and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) to represent him in the ongoing 
appeal of his capital murder conviction and death sentence.  LDF will 
serve as co-counsel in the case with Judy Ritter, Esq., of Widener 
Law School in Wilmington, Delaware, who has represented Mr. Abu-Jamal 
since 2003.

Mr. Abu-Jamal is the world's best known death-row prisoner.  His case 
has attracted attention from around the world and he is widely viewed 
as a symbol of the racial injustices of the death penalty.

"Mumia Abu-Jamal's conviction and death sentence are relics of a time 
and place that was notorious for police abuse and racial 
discrimination," said John Payton, Director-Counsel of LDF.  "Unless 
and until courts acknowledge and correct these historic injustices, 
death sentences like Mr. Abu-Jamal's will invite continued skepticism 
of the criminal justice system by the African American community."

Mr. Abu-Jamal is on death row in Pennsylvania for the 1981 murder of 
a police officer in Philadelphia.  His death sentence was vacated in 
2001 after the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of 
Pennsylvania found constitutional error in the jury instructions and 
verdict form used in his 1982 penalty phase.  That decision was 
affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit 
in 2008 but then sent back to the Third Circuit by the United States 
Supreme Court in 2010 for further review.

Christina Swarns, Director of LDF's Criminal Justice Project 
explained that, "LDF seeks to sweep the grave injustices embodied in 
this case into the dustbin of history and, in so doing, give 
communities of color reason to believe that they can and will receive 
equal justice in Pennsylvania courtrooms."

Mr. Abu-Jamal's appeal is currently pending before the Third Circuit.

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