[Ppnews] Legal Update on Mumia Abu Jamal

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 27 18:41:47 EST 2013

*Greetings and Good Afternoon All,*

*Please read the below statement. *

On Monday, February 25, 2013, Prof. Judith Ritter of Widener Law School 
and Christina Swarns of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. 
filed an appeal in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania challenging the 
fairness of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas' surprise August 2012 
Order resentencing Mumia Abu-Jamal to life imprisonment without parole.

That brief demonstrates that the trial court violated state and federal 
law by resentencing Mumia without providing him, his counsel or anyone 
else notice that a resentencing would occur; by failing to give Mumia or 
his counsel the opportunity to appear or present information or argument 
prior to sentencing; and by failing to make any effort to ensure that 
Mumia was informed of his appellate rights. Given these errors, the 
appeal requests a new sentencing hearing. Here are the next steps:

The Philadelphia County District Attorney's Office will file a brief 
responding to our appeal, we will file a reply to the DA's brief, there 
_may_ be oral argument, and then the Superior Court will issue an opinion.

The Court has three options:

it can (a) conclude that there was nothing wrong with what the trial 
court did and uphold Mumia's life without parole sentence;

(b) conclude that the trial court made mistakes but there was no harm to 
Mumia because the outcome -- a life without parole sentence -- would be 
the same even if the proper procedures had been followed; or

(c) vacate the trial court's order and send the case back to the Court 
of Common Pleas for a new sentencing hearing that complies with state 
and federal law.

It is hard to know how the court will rule, or how soon an opinion will 
be issued. We will certainly let everyone know as soon as a decision is 

*/Thank You,/*

The Legal Team of Mumia Abu Jamal


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