[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
The Legal Team of Mumia Abu Jamal
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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