Legal Update - February 8, 2009
From: Robert R. Bryan, lead counsel
New case filing in Supreme Court On February 4, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court docketed and accepted for filing the Petition for Writ of Certiorari, with supporting Appendix, that I had submitted December 19, 2008 on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal. (AbuJamal v. Beard, U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 08-8483.) A copy of the petition is attached. The central issue in this case is racism in jury selection. The prosecution systematically removed people from sitting on the trial jury purely because of the color of their skin, that is, being black. The bigotry that killed Martin Luther King, Jr., so many years ago, has been rampant in the case of my client and is a central part of the state's quest to murder him in the name of the law.
Prosecution's separate Supreme Court petition In an entirely separate case (Beard v. Abu-Jamal, Sup. Ct. No. 08-652), the prosecution is seeking to overturn the victory we achieved last year in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (Abu-Jamal v. Horn, 520 F.3d 272 (3rd Cir. 2008).) In that ruling the court ordered a new jury trial on the question of the death penalty. Our Brief In Opposition will be filed in the Supreme Court on February 13, 2009.
Donations for Mumia's Legal Defense -- The legal defense for Mumia needs help. The costs for our litigation in two case before the Supreme Court are substantial. To help, please make your checks payable to the "National Lawyers Guild Foundation" (indicate "Mumia" on the bottom left). The donations are tax deductible, and should be mailed to:
Committee To Save Mumia Abu-Jamal
Conclusion -- Mumia remains on Pennsylvania's death row. We are in an epic struggle in which his life hangs in the balance. What occurs now in the Supreme Court will determine whether Mumia will have a new jury trial, or die at the hands of the executioner.
As I have previously pointed out, Mumia is in greater danger than at any time since his 1981 arrest. Your support and activism is needed. This great journalist and author does not belong on death row or in prison. We must not rest until he is free.
Yours very truly,
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal
Posted: 11 February 2009