Mumia Abu-Jamal

Legal Update - 22 September 2010

Statement by Robert R. Bryan, Mumia's lawyer.

There is a significant new development regarding my client, Mumia Abu-Jamal, the journalist and author who has been on Pennsylvania's death row for nearly three decades.

Oral argument scheduled, United States Court of Appeals: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has just granted oral argument in Mumia's case. (Abu-Jamal v. Beard, No. 01-9014.) The arguments will be before a three-judge panel on November 9, 2010, 2:00 pm. This will be in the Ceremonial Courtroom, U.S. Courthouse, 6th & Market Streets, Philadelphia.

Mumia & I spoke shortly after the order was received. He was humbled by the good news. We are cautiously encouraged that the federal court has taken this step.

This is significant in the ongoing litigation to save Mumia's life and win the case. At stake is whether he will be executed, or granted a new jury trial on the question of the death penalty. We previously won on this issue, but early this year the U.S. Supreme Court vacated that decision and ordered that the case be again reviewed by the federal court.

New movie, Justice On Trial: Yesterday Justice On Trial premiered in Philadelphia. It is by Johanna Fernandez, a professor at Baruch College, New York, and Kouross Esmaeli of Big Noise Films. The release of this superb film comes at a perfect time since it counters another movie,The Barrel of a Gun, that was also shown the same day. The Barrel production is replete with distortions and wild theories, and is supported by those who wish to see my client executed including the Fraternal Order of Police.

Petition to President Barack Obama (Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Global Abolition of the Death Penalty): Over 24,000 people from around the world have signed the petition, including three Nobel Prize winners. We need many more for this to benefit Mumia. Some of the signers are: Desmond Tutu, South Africa (Nobel Peace Prize, 1984); GŁnter Grass, Germany (Nobel Prize in Literature, 1999); Elfriede Jelinek, Austria (Nobel Prize in Literature, 2004); Danielle Mitterrand, Paris (former First Lady of France); Fatima Bhutto, Pakistan (writer); Colin Firth (Academy Award Best-Actor nominee, 2010); Noam Chomsky, MIT (philosopher and author); Ed Asner (actor); Mike Farrell (actor); Robert Meeropol (son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, executed in 1953); Michael Radford (director of the Oscar winning film Il Postino); members of the European Parliament; members of the German Bundestag; European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights; and Reporters Without Borders, Paris.

How to Help: For information on how to help, both by signing the Obama petition & donating funds, please go to Mumia's website (

Conclusion: Mumia is in the greatest danger since being arrested in 1981. We will not stop until he is saved.

Yours very truly,
Robert R. Bryan

Law Offices of Robert R. Bryan
2088 Union Street, Suite 4
San Francisco, California 94123-4117
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal