[Pnews] ‘Progressive DA’ Larry Krasner, you said you’d overturn wrongful convictions; what about Mumia?
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Oct 17 11:18:28 EDT 2018
‘Progressive DA’ Larry Krasner, you said you’d overturn wrongful
convictions; what about Mumia?
October 16, 2018
*/by Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC)/*
Dear Friends and Comrades,
At this late date, given that Mumia’s next court hearing is on Oct. 29,
two weeks away, many of us have felt that not enough attention has been
paid to challenging Philadelphia’s widely hailed, new “liberal” District
Attorney Larry Krasner. His deadly role in Mumia’s current legal
proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas has not been understood by many
Mumia supporters. People both in Philadelphia and around the country are
still describing Krasner as a “breath of fresh air,” a major change
agent in the criminal justice system, and a potentially fair DA in
While we agree that Krasner has made some important positive moves on
several issues, he has, like all the previous DAs, been adamant in his
denial of justice to Mumia. It is, therefore, urgent that we publicize
the situation with Krasner, and confront him with the fact that people
are recognizing his deplorable role in the court process for Mumia.
We must pressure him to drop his opposition to Mumia’s current legal
action aimed at giving Mumia new rights of appeal of his conviction.
Needless to say, regardless of the outcome of this legal struggle, we
will continue to assert Mumia’s innocence and fight for his freedom. For
further clarification and details on this potentially confusing legal
situation, read the attached background piece (addressed to
International Friends of Mumia and posted following the letter to Krasner).
There are two attachments we are including. One is the background piece
on what Krasner has done regarding Mumia’s current legal action. This
will not be sent to Krasner. The second is the letter we hope to send
Krasner with as many organizational signatures as possible.
We are focusing on organizations and some well-known individuals. We
urge others who wish to, to send their own letter to Krasner. As a
collective, we will only process organizational letters and a limited
number of individual names to simplify the logistics involved.
Please be sure to get your organization’s signature back to us by Oct.
19 at the latest. Send it to infomumia at gmail.com
<mailto:infomumia at gmail.com>. We plan to deliver the list of
organizational signers along with the letter addressed to him to Krasner
on the 25th at a press conference we will hold that day in Philadelphia.
Although we are only soliciting names of organizations for that
particular letter, we are URGING INDIVIDUALS TO SEND THIS SAME LETTER OR
THEIR OWN TO KRASNER DIRECTLY. HIS E-MAIL IS justice at philadelphia.gov
<mailto:justice at philadelphia.gov>. Let’s flood Krasner’s lines!
*Signers* – list is in formation; add your organization by writing to
infomumia at gmail.com <mailto:infomumia at gmail.com>:
/Pam Africa, Keith Cook (Mumia’s brother), Cornel West, Kathleen
Cleaver, Basym Hasan, Glen Ford, Eli Domota (Guadeloupe), Mireille Fanon
/The Uncompromising International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia
Abu-Jamal, The Frantz Fanon Foundation, The MOVE Organization, Free
Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC), International Action Center,
Mobilization 4 Mumia, Food Not Bombs Solidarity, Amig at s de Mumia de
Mexico, Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, Colectif James Baldwin, Liberons
Mumia, Comite Mumia de Saint-Denis, German FREE MUMIA Network, FREE
MUMIA Berlin, LIBERONS MUMIA (French Collective), The Labor Action
Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Oakland Teachers for Mumia, National
Jericho Movement, NYC Jericho Movement, Northeast Political Prisoner
/International Dockworkers Council, Union Generale des Travailleurs de
la Guadeloupe, People’s Organization for Progress, CEMOTAP, KOMOKODA,
Black is Back Coalition, Uhuru Solidarity Movement, Universal Zulu
Nation, Guillermo Morales – Assata Shakur Community and Student Center,
National Lawyers Guild (Minnesota), Alliance for Global Justice, SOS
Racismo (Portugal), *Freedom Archives*, Communities United Against
Police Brutality (Minneapolis), Bruxelles Pantheres (Belgium), Just
Justice BKO (Mali), End Solitary Santa Cruz County (CA), International
Labor Solidarity Committee of Doro-Chiba/Railway Workers Union in Chiba
(Japan), The Hoshino Defense Committee (Japan)/
*Letter to District Attorney Larry Krasner*
Dear District Attorney Larry Krasner,
You were elected on your claims of being a “progressive DA” and that you
would “end mass incarceration.” You stated that you would investigate
and overturn wrongful convictions.
However, in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, you have to date shown yourself
to be in tandem with the Fraternal Order of Police. This is despite the
history of the evidence of Mumia’s innocence and the police, prosecution
and judicial misconduct that permeates his case.
In a letter sent to you in January 2018, Pam Africa and international
representatives of the movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal requested a
meeting to discuss his case with the objective of obtaining a dismissal
of the charges against him and his release from prison. We also asked as
a first step that you join in or at least not oppose Mumia’s pending
petition for new appeals based on the precedent of Williams v. Pennsylvania.
Over the past months after first agreeing to that meeting, you then
refused, but later met with Maureen Faulkner. Since April 30, you have
submitted legal arguments to Judge Leon Tucker that deny the relevance
of the evidence from prosecution files of Ronald Castille’s significant
involvement in Mumia Abu-Jamal’s prosecution and death sentence.
You have called for Mumia’s petition to be dismissed. Documents show
that DA Castille tracked the status of capital cases and that he sent a
letter to former Gov. Casey that “urged” him to sign execution warrants
to “send a message” to all “police killers.”
Ronald Castille’s very public and vociferous support of capital
punishment and the Fraternal Order of Police combined with the evidence
to date disclosed from the prosecution files meets the test of Williams
v. Pennsylvania. Judge Castille should have recused himself from Mumia
Abu-Jamal’s appeals. Since Castille refused to do that, Mumia Abu-Jamal
should, at least, be granted new appeal rights.
So far, your handling of Mumia’s case has been very much in line with
the wishes of the Fraternal Order of Police and you seem to show no
interest in opening up a case that has been denounced around the world
as reflecting the worst of a racist and classist judicial system that
finds poor people, and especially people of color (and even more so
dissenters) guilty and sentences them to the most extreme sentences: For
Mumia, execution, up until 2011 when he was resentenced to life in
prison without the possibility of ever getting out as he is not eligible
We call on you to release all the police and DA files relevant to
Mumia’s case, to stop fighting to close this opening in the case by
insisting that there is no evidence when that’s not the reality. The
world is watching you out of its concern for Mumia and for justice.
*Message to International Friends of Mumia*
Dear International Friends of Mumia,
Back almost a year ago, you signed an international letter directed to
Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania and the newly elected District Attorney of
Philadelphia Larry Krasner. It called on them to free Mumia based on
extensive evidence of his innocence and to release all the DA and police
files relevant to his case.
There were over 400 signers, many of them organizations, especially with
hundreds or thousands of members, and from dozens of countries across
the globe. The letter was widely distributed and had the impact of
demonstrating once again the enormous support Mumia continues to have
not only in the US but also internationally.
The letter explained Mumia’s new legal action that, if won, would allow
him to re-appeal the evidence of his innocence and all the issues of the
denial of due process in his trial and the police, prosecutorial and
judicial misconduct that led to his conviction.
We are now asking you to sign another letter to DA Krasner. On Oct. 29,
2018, Mumia’s case is back in court for the sixth time since Krasner has
been the District Attorney in Mumia’s case.
DA Krasner first officially announced his opposition to Mumia’s new
legal action in court on April 30. He submitted a formal legal brief on
Aug. 30 stating that Mumia’s petition should be denied.
We are now asking you to sign another letter to DA Krasner. On
Oct. 29, 2018, Mumia’s case is back in court for the sixth time
since Krasner has been the District Attorney in Mumia’s case.
He is opposing additional rulings from the judge to continue to search
prosecution files for additional documents. He is closing any
opportunity to reopen the internationally denounced conviction of Mumia
in 1982, and the subsequent equally outrageous appeals process which
locked in the conviction.
The plea made by Maureen Faulkner, widow of the cop Mumia was wrongly
convicted of killing, to Philly DA Larry Krasner: “Help keep cop killer
Mumia Abu-Jamal in jail.”
DA Krasner continues the policy of the former Philadelphia district
attorneys in opposing every legal appeal made by Mumia, despite court
precedents and clear evidence supporting Mumia’s appeal. He has met with
Maureen Faulkner but refused to meet with Pam Africa, Keith Cook,
Mumia’s elder brother, and international representatives.
In the current legal action, Mumia is challenging the judicial bias and
conflict of interest of Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille, who was
also the district attorney during the first direct appeals of his
conviction and death sentence. The legal precedent on which Mumia’s
challenge is based is a 2016 US Supreme Court ruling, Williams v.
In that case the U.S. Supreme Court held that it violated due process
rights to a fair and impartial appeal for a judge to participate in an
appeal if he was previously personally involved in that same case as a
prosecutor. The judge in the Williams case was Pennsylvania Supreme
Court Judge Ronald Castille. He was also the prosecutor and then judge
in Mumia’s case.
Ronald Castille was the district attorney responsible for making sure
that Mumia’s conviction and death sentence were upheld. He was also
personally involved in trying to get a warrant of execution signed
against Mumia. Petitions made by Mumia that Castille recuse himself were
rejected by Castille. With Castille’s participation, all of Mumia’s
state court appeals of his conviction and death sentence from 1998-2012
The clear evidence of Castille’s bias and conflict of interest in
Mumia’s case was known at the time Mumia petitioned for Castille’s
recusal. DA Krasner refuses to acknowledge the obvious: that there is
significant material pointing to Castille’s involvement in Mumia’s case,
that everyone in Philadelphia knew Castille to be an extreme supporter
of the death penalty and a strong ally of the Fraternal Order of Police
(FOP), qualities guaranteed to make him an enemy of Mumia.
Most significant for the issue before the court right now, there is
evidence in the legal documents already reviewed that point to
Castille’s significant role in Mumia’s case. Castille bragged that he
was responsible for 45 people being placed on death row, and that he was
a recipient of awards given by the FOP. In the Williams decision, the
U.S. Supreme Court cited those facts.
There is also clear documentary evidence from the prosecution’s own
files that prove the Williams case standard of involvement is applicable
to Mumia’s case. This evidence was released to Mumia’s lawyers in
October 2017, months before Krasner became the DA.
DA Krasner first officially announced his opposition to Mumia’s
new legal action in court on April 30. He submitted a formal legal
brief on Aug. 30 stating that Mumia’s petition should be denied.
At the time Castille was district attorney, the governor was Robert
Casey, who was opposed to capital punishment. In the records released by
the DA’s office during the current legal action is the June 15, 1990,
letter from DA Castille to Gov. Casey.
Castille’s letter urged the governor to issue death warrants in
Philadelphia capital cases where the appeals process was completed. DA
Castille’s letter states: “I urge you to send a clear and dramatic
message to all police killers that the death penalty actually means
something. There were three “police killers” on PA’s death row at the
time of this letter, Leslie Beasley, William Tilly and Mumia Abu-Jamal.
This letter is unequivocal documentary proof under the Williams standard
that Mumia’s Pennsylvania state court appeal denials should be vacated
because of Judge Castille’s extreme bias and conflict of interest.
In the past months there has been more evidence. It has been established
that Castille personally added that sentence on “police killers” to a
draft of that letter. There is evidence of Castille tracking the status
of Mumia’s case and communication between his office and a virulently
pro-execution state legislator pushing for the death warrant.
DA Krasner argues, just like his predecessors, that despite the Supreme
Court precedent and the facts and evidence in the record, Mumia’s
petition should not be granted. Krasner denies the clear meaning of
Castille’s public and virulent advocacy for executions of those
convicted of homicide, especially “police killers”, of his support from
and to the FOP, confirmed by the letter he sent to Gov. Casey. Despite
this proof, Krasner states there is no evidence of DA Castille’s
personal involvement as a prosecutor in Mumia’s case.
DA Krasner argues, just like his predecessors, that despite the
Supreme Court precedent and the facts and evidence in the record,
Mumia’s petition should not be granted.
In his campaign to be elected, DA Larry Krasner promised that he was
going to be different, and that he would “end mass incarceration.” He
has made some important reforms: ending cash bail in lesser criminal
offenses, granting life-time parole rather than imprisonment for
juvenile “lifers,” and considering serious criminal charges for police
shootings of civilians. His office has likewise not opposed parole for
Debbie, Janine and Janet Africa.
The reality, however, is that in Mumia’s case Krasner is following the
script of the Fraternal Order of Police. A tell-tale warning of what was
to come was Krasner’s appointment of Ronald Castille to his transition team.
This was despite Krasner knowing full well that Castille was not only
known as pro-prosecution, pro death penalty, pro-cop and hostile to
defense attorneys, but that Castille’s bias was the center of over 15
cases, including Mumia’s, that were then pending in court. In the
Williams case, Castille was lambasted by the US Supreme Court for his
In appointing Castille, Krasner sent a signal to the FOP that not only
was he willing to “rehabilitate” Castille but that he would not give an
inch for Mumia.
Oct. 29 may be the last court date to impact DA Krasner’s position on
Mumia’s pending legal case. We call on you to sign the attached letter.
International awareness and pressure is urgently needed to move DA
Krasner to end his opposition to Mumia’s pending legal action.
Regardless, our fight for Mumia’s freedom will continue until he is free.
Oct. 29 may be the last court date to impact DA Krasner’s position
on Mumia’s pending legal case. We call on you to sign the attached
/Contact the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC) at
//infomumia at gmail.com/ <mailto:infomumia at gmail.com>/./
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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