Mumia Abu Jamal: Either Life Sentence or a New Hearing

free mumiaMumia Abu Jamal, a former memeber of the Black Panther Party was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner by a (nearly) all white jury. This controversial trail has been the center of international debates on the death penalty, the prison industrial complex, and racism in the American justice system for the past three decades. Yesterday, an appeals court in Philadelphia upheld Mumia Abu-Jamal’s conviction for murdering Faulkner 27 years ago but rejected prosecutors’ request to reinstate the death penalty. The tree-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that because the jury that delivered Abu-Jamal’s death sentence was given flawed instructions in the penalty phase, he must either get a new sentencing hearing or be sentenced to life in prison. Neither side was pleased with this decision. Abu-Jamal’s lead attorney, Robert R. Bryan of San Francisco, said while he was glad the judges didn’t reinstate the death sentence, he will not stop fighting until his client a gets a new, fair trial,

“I’ve never seen a case as permeated and riddled with racism as this one,” Bryan said Thursday. “I want a new trial and I want him free. His conviction was a travesty of justice.”

The prosecution was just as dissatisfied with the decision as Maureen Faulkner, the police officer’s widow expressed,

“it’s like a thorn in my side that is still there that cannot be pulled out.”

It remains to be seen whether Abu-Jamal will receive his new sentencing or continue to remain a “thorn” in Maureen Faulkner’s side as he lives out his remaining years in prison, but Judge Thomas Ambro – one third of the Appeals tribunal – stated that Abu-Jamal presented enough evidence to warrant further investigation of the jury exclusion claims. This gives new light and energy to Abu-Jamal’s camp, which is going on it’s 30th year in struggle for human rights.

3 Comments to ‘Mumia Abu Jamal: Either Life Sentence or a New Hearing’:

  1. Ishmael on 28 Mar 2008 at 10:37 pm: 1

    The jury was 10 white and two black. The police officer was shot multiple times with “Abu-Jamal’s” (the perp’s) gun. The perp. was shot once by the officer as he went down. The perp was still at the scene when other officers arrived. The only real witness, the perp’s brother, refused to testify. The appeals court ruled that the judge did not allow the jury to take into account mitigating circumstances during sentencing- i.e. a technicality. All of the courts have upheld the conviction because the facts speak for themselves. All of the other issues for appeal were rejected by the court.
    Just because a killer can write and was an “activist” does not justify a walk. And you should not trivialize the emotional anguish of the police officers widow. PEACE BE WITH YOU

  2. pdcsupporter on 30 Mar 2008 at 10:13 am: 2

    The best and most useful summary of the facts in the case of Mumia Abu Jamal is on http://partisandefense.org

  3. martin on 31 Mar 2008 at 5:24 pm: 3

    Noam Chomsky has an interesting take on the Mumia case on Youtube.

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Published on March 28, 2008 at 6:41 pm. 3 Comments.
Filed under Prison Industrial Complex,racism.