Legal Update - 10 June 2008
This Legal Update is made on behalf of my client, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who is on Pennsylvanias death row.
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit entered an order extending the due date for submitting the Petition for Rehearing En Banc on behalf of my client, Mumia Abu-Jamal. We will file it on June 27, 2008.
There apparently is still confusion regarding the March 27 federal decision. A new jury trial was ordered on the question of whether the penalty should be life or death. The court did not rule that Mumia should receive a life sentence as some have stated. The penalty-phase was reversed because the trial judge gave misleading and unconstitutional jury instructions. Nonetheless, I expect far greater gains.
There was a lengthy dissenting opinion on the issue of racism in jury selection. It found that there was prima facie evidence of the prosecutor engaging in racism. He removed prospective African-American jurors for no reason other than the color of their skin. That violates the United States Constitution. This extraordinary dissent goes to the core of our effort to secure an entirely new trial. The first step in that process is what we presently are about-convincing the entire federal court that the case should be reheard and full relief granted. This dissent serves as the basis for that effort and, if need be, going to the United States Supreme Court.
Mumia remains on death row. The prosecution has vowed to appeal and continue its quest to see him executed. I will not let that happen.
Donations for Mumia's Legal Defense in the United States The only way to ensure that donations in the U.S. go only to the legal defense is to make checks payable to the National Lawyers Guild Foundation (indicate "Mumia" on the bottom left). The donations are tax deductible. Checks should be mailed to:
Committee To Save Mumia Abu-Jamal
Conclusion This case can be won. In over three decades of successfully defending people in capital murder cases, I have not seen one more compelling. Racism is a thread that has run through the case since its inception. My objective remains to obtain a new jury trial in which Mumia will be acquitted by a jury so that he can return to his family, a free person.
On behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal, I thank you.
Yours very truly,
Robert R. Bryan
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal
Posted: 17 June 2008