top
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Fri Dec 9 2005
Appeals Court Reverses Two Rulings in Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Fri Dec 9 2005
Door Opened to Further Hearings for Death Row Journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal
This week the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Third Circuit reversed two critical Federal District Court rulings that affect the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. On December 6th, the court granted "certificates of appealabilty" to Jamal to challenge alleged race and judicial bias in the 1995 Post Conviction Relief Action proceedings overseen by Mumia's original 1982 trial court "hanging" judge, Albert Sabo. Sabo went to extreme lengths to keep evidence of innocence out of the court record. The court also allowed Mumia to challenge the trial summation remarks of the state's lead prosecutor, Joseph McGill, who told the jury, "If you find the Defendant guilty of course, there would be appeal after appeal and perhaps there could be a reversal of the case, or whatever, so that may not be final."

Mumia's lead attorney, Robert R. Bryan, told activist Jeff Mackler that McGill's summation had the effect of qualitatively lowering the historic burden of proof regarding reasonable doubt and presumption of innocence. Similar remarks by Pennsylvania prosecutors have resulted in new trials in other cases. The Third Circuit's decision was all the more remarkable in that under the provisions of the 1996 Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, the court had no obligation to even consider defense challenges to the Federal District Court's denial of certificates of appealability.

The court has called for an initial January 17th defense brief on these two issues, as well as on the single issue that had previously been certified for appeal-- that is, the defense insistence that the exclusion of 11 of 14 Black jurors constituted an unconstitutional violation of the Supreme Court ruling on this issue in the case of Batson v. Kentucky. In the next several months, defense and prosecution attorneys will face stringent deadlines for a series of briefs and counter briefs. The 10-person court will then issue a decision or set a date for a hearing and oral arguments.

The Third Circuit's decision was not all in favor of Mumia. It denied certificates of appealability on several other points raised by the defense-- including the right to self-representation. It also allowed the State of Pennsylvania to challenge a Federal District Court decision that had ordered the State to hold a new sentencing hearing based on constitutionally flawed jury instructions issued by Judge Sabo. Possible outcomes range from following through with the execution to a new trial. Read more

PDF of the decision and statement from Mumia's attorney Robert R. Bryan | Free Mumia Coalition, NYC | San Francisco Mobilization to Free Mumia | Counterpunch article | Mumia's Freedom Journal | June 16th Legal Update | March 2005 Legal Update
06/22/17 NoCARA Highlights the Local Racists Targeting Anti-Fascists Online and in the Courthouse Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | East Bay | North Bay / Marin06/20/17 Independent Audit Sought to Resolve Secretive Selection Process for Dem Party Chair Front Page | California | Government & Elections06/05/17 “Oil Money Out, People Power In” March and Rally in Sacramento Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | Racial Justice | Central Valley | California | Government & Elections06/04/17 Once A Snitch, Always a Snitch: Andrew Clark Darst Ironically Protests His Lack of Privacy Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | U.S.06/01/17 Palestinian Hunger Strike Officially Suspended After Reaching An Agreement Front Page | Police State and Prisons | International | Palestine05/30/17 Artists Project Call for Trump Impeachment at Coliseum, Get Handcuffed by Security Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Arts + Action | East Bay | Government & Elections05/25/17 Prisoners Protest Inhumane Conditions in Segregation Units with Hunger Strike Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Central Valley | California05/22/17 Effort Underway to Stop Neo-Nazi Band The Highway Murderers from Performing in San José Front Page | Racial Justice | Arts + Action | South Bay | Santa Cruz Indymedia05/22/17 Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart Collaborates with ICE, Refuses to Change Policy Front Page | Police State and Prisons | U.S. | Government & Elections | Immigrant Rights | Santa Cruz Indymedia05/20/17 Report Details Racial Bias in California’s Traffic Court System, Bills Address Disparities Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Central Valley | San Francisco | California | U.S. | Government & Elections05/17/17 Section 8 Vouchers Help The Poor — But Only If Housing Is Available Front Page | Racial Justice | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Labor & Workers | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Womyn | U.S. | Government & Elections
Related Categories: Police State and Prisons
Kick ICE Out Of Oakland Oakland Privacy Monday Jun 19th 9:42 AM
Sanctuary Transit - Keep Immigrants Safe On BART Oakland Privacy Monday Jun 19th 9:38 AM
Justice for Philando Castile - Rally and March Justice (1 comment) Friday Jun 16th 9:03 PM
New Restrictions on City Hall Access Must Be Reviewed by Council Steve Pleich (3 comments) Sunday Jun 11th 8:42 AM
Folsom Hunger Strike: Solidarity Rally Reportback Burn the Plantations (1 comment) Friday Jun 9th 3:33 PM
Tres residents del Condado de Santa Cruz han sido arrestados por ICE Santuario Santa Cruz Friday Jun 9th 3:06 PM
More Local News...
[ × close ]
*Informant Alert* - Round 2 (please circulate widely) most of the rnc 8 (2 comments) Sunday Jun 4th 12:41 PM
Philippines: Martial Law is Not the Answer! various groups Monday May 29th 7:04 PM
Chelsea Manning is Free Power to the People (1 comment) Wednesday May 17th 7:37 AM
This Week in Palestine, May 5, 2017 IMEMC Sunday May 7th 9:17 PM
Detained Immigrants on Hunger Strike in Northwest Detention Center NWDC Resistance / Resistencia al NWDC Wednesday May 3rd 2:44 PM
More Global News...
[ × close ]
SF Police state terrorism; Housing Crisis, Nuclear Contamination of Pacific Ocean Register Peace & Freedom or Green Monday May 8th 8:01 PM
Are We Ready for Body-Worn Cameras in Santa Cruz? Steve Pleich Sunday Apr 16th 4:12 PM
California bill to eliminate bail system clears first hurdle Katy Murphy, Mercury News (1 comment) Thursday Apr 6th 11:10 AM
Cower or Continue? Bob Lamonica (1 comment) Wednesday Feb 22nd 9:07 PM
The Long History of Human Incapacitation by Politics and the Press Wolfgang Jungmann (2 comments) Tuesday Feb 21st 6:14 AM
Art of War : Executive Order K. Larmee Saturday Feb 18th 11:06 PM
Please Say No To Serially Executing Neil Gorsuch Universal Abolition Thursday Feb 9th 4:35 PM
Open Newswire...
[ × close ]