[Ppnews] New Sentencing for Mumia Abu-Jamal

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Oct 11 14:19:48 EDT 2011

New Sentencing for Mumia Abu-Jamal

    * By: 
Desmond-Harris | Posted: October 11, 2011
    * http://www.theroot.com/buzz/new-sentencing-mumia-abu-jamal
The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the 
Philadelphia DA's office in the racially charged 
case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, bringing an end to 
nearly thirty years of litigation over the 
fairness of the sentencing hearing that resulted 
in his death sentence for the 1981 shooting of a 
police officer, the Washington Post reports.

While his case has been famous among anti-death 
penalty activists and social justice advocates 
for decades, this new development is no doubt 
even more poignant for many in light of the recent execution of Troy Davis.

Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, has spent 
almost 30 years on death row after being 
convincted in 1982  for killing Daniel Faulkner.

A federal appeals court this year upheld his 
conviction, but agreed that the jurt received the 
potentially misleading death penalty 
instructions, and ordered a new sentencing 
hearing. Because the Supreme Court has left in 
place that ruling, Abu-Jamal will be now 
automatically sentenced to life in prison without 
the possibility of parole unless the District 
Attorney seeks another death sentence from a new jury.

The Supreme Court’s decision represents the 
fourth time that a federal court have found that 
Abu-Jamal’s sentencing jury was misled about the 
constitutionally mandated process for considering 
evidence supporting a life sentence.

“At long last, the profoundly troubling prospect 
of Mr. Abu-Jamal facing an execution that was 
produced by an unfair and unreliable penalty 
phase has been eliminated,” said John Payton, 
President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal 
Defense Fund, which, along with Professor Judith 
Ritter, represents Abu-Jamal. Professor Ritter 
said, “Our system should never condone an 
execution that stems from a trial in which the 
jury was improperly instructed on the law.”

The case will now return to the Philadelphia 
County Court of Common Pleas for final sentencing.

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