FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2001
INNOCENCE NOR GUILT MATTER ANYMORE?
Mumia Abu-Jamal's attorneys, filed a 130-page motion in federal
court on Monday, July 30, 2001, asking Judge William H. Yohn, Jr. to reconsider
his denial of their request to take the deposition (testimony under oath) of
Arnold Beverly has confessed to the killing of Daniel Faulkner and
in his sworn affidavit he details how he was hired by the mob and corrupt
elements in the Philadelphia police force.
The motion begins: "With all due respect to the District Court, it
is preposterous to suppose that any reasonable jury would possibly have found
Mumia Abu-Jamal guilty of the murder of Police Officer Faulkner beyond a
reasonable doubt after having heard the testimony under oath of Arnold Beverly
that he, not Mumia, shot and killed the officer." Mumia's attorneys ask: " In
what case, in what court, anywhere in this country, has any jury ever convicted
a defendant of a crime after the true perpetrator voluntarily came into court
and testified under oath that he, rather than the defendant, was the guilty
Disagreeing with Judge Yohn's ruling that Mumia's innocence is no
reason to stop his execution and throw out his conviction, his attorneys argue:
"To interpret [the Supreme Court decision in] Herrera [Herrera v. Collins, 506
U.S. 390] to foreclose innocence being a basis for habeas relief in a death
penalty case would be to place a judicial seal of approval upon what the
average citizen unimpressed with legalistic sophistries -- and the rest of the
world -- would inevitably see as nothing other than a legalized lynching."
Mumia's attorneys point out that Arnold Beverly's signed
confession which describes in detail how he shot Officer Faulkner and how he
fled -- is directly relevant to proving that numerous witnesses to the incident
were right when they reported seeing the shooter flee and that this evidence
was suppressed as part of a frame-up/cover-up by the Philadelphia Police and
District Attorneys' Office.
Mumia's attorneys also filed a sworn affidavit by Rachel
Wolkenstein, a former member of Mumia's legal team, in support of the motion
Mumia himself will be in court for the first time since 1997 on
August 17, 2001, at 9:30 a.m., at the Criminal Justice Center, in downtown
Philadelphia, to appear before Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe on his new state
post-conviction petition which charges he was deprived of due process of law
when his prior attorneys, Weinglass and Williams, failed to present Arnold
Beverly's signed confession to the state court in 1999.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Marlene Kamish, Esq. (412)
Eliot Lee Grossman, Esq. (626) 943-1945